Machine safety and degrading component reliability

Is your machine downtime sometimes a surprise? Did a component in a safety circuit fail because it simply wore out and nobody knew it was about to fail? Well, maybe help has just arrived. Has anyone heard about EN ISO 13849-1; 2008? See "4 ways to reduce surprise downtime."

07/14/2011


JB Titus, CFSEIs your machine downtime sometimes a surprise? Did a component in a safety circuit fail because it simply wore out and nobody knew it was about to fail? Well, maybe help has just arrived. Has anyone heard about EN ISO 13849-1; 2008?

   This new standard (Safety of machinery, Safety-related parts of control systems) has arrived and the Machinery Directive in Europe has established its effective date as Jan. 1, 2012. Since the US is part of the ISO (International Standards Organization) many companies in the US are making plans to or have already adopted this new standard. In my opinion, 13849-1 improves machine safety because it moves machine safety from qualitative Categories to quantitative Performance levels. Compliance requirements in this new standard will now address all of the components in a safety circuit while determining that circuit’s Performance Level. As such, the expected life of a component is determined and documented relative to its expected number of cycles during machine operation. Therefore, the weak links can be identified and flagged early on during the design stage. This is particularly important for those components that are electro/mechanical, such as contactors or safety relays, and have moving parts or points that wear out over time. This wearing out over time is what many people refer to as “degrading component reliability”.

   OK, great! Does anyone have an idea with this information how to reduce the surprise downtime (and possible hazard) related to this type of component failure?

4 ways to reduce surprise downtime

   Several thoughts I have are as follows:

1.)   Identify and document these components in your risk assessment for the machine.

2.)   Add these components to your preventive maintenance plan.

3.)   Plan for routine machine maintenance to replace these components before their expected failure.

4.)   Update your risk assessment for the machine.

   I have barely touched on the comprehensive approach for Functional Safety addressed by EN ISO 13849-1; 2008. Several companies and consultants offer two and three day classes on the new compliance requirements embedded in this new standard. In my opinion, to fully understand these compliance requirements you should consider contacting these sources and consider enrolling in one of their classes.

   Your comments or suggestion are always welcome so please let us know your thoughts. Submit your ideas, experiences, and challenges on this subject in the comments section below. Click on the following text if you don't see a comments box, then scroll down: Machine Safety & Degrading Component Reliability.

   Did you see the Safety Integration Webcast?

   Related articles:

EN ISO 13849-1; 2008 - Are We Ready? - Part 2

Trouble Implementing ISO 13849-1; 2006 per the European Machinery Directive

B10s at work for machine guarding

Contact: www.jbtitus.com for “Solutions for Machine Safety”.



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
System integration: Best practices and technologies to help; Virtualization virtues; Cyber security advice; Motor system efficiency, savings; Product exclusives; Road to Hannover
Collaborative robotics: How to improve safety, return on investment; Industrial Internet of Things, Industrie 4.0: World views; High-performance HMI, Information Integration: OPC and OMG
9 tips: How to integrate a servo system; Process control mathematical models; Serial network grounding; Engineers' Choice Awards; Learn from cyber security mistakes
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
PLCs, robots, and the quest for a single controller; how OEE is key to automation solutions.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors

(copy 5)

click me