Machine Safety: Functional safety and the steps to be compliant in the U.S.

Who has the steps identified for anyone considering moving their machine safety compliance to functional safety for their organization? Let’s assume for this discussion that functional safety means being compliant with EN ISO 13849-1.

04/17/2012


Who has the steps identified for anyone considering moving their machine safety compliance to functional safety for their organization? Let’s assume for this discussion that functional safety means being compliant with EN ISO 13849-1.

To stay on target consider updates to your safety culture and your machine guarding solutions practice.In my opinion, having been exposed to various sources of training materials, the steps usually recommended for engineers designing machine control systems are generally as follows:

1.) Specify the safety functions

2.) Specify the required Performance Level(s) (PLr) (goal)

3.) Technically design the safety circuit(s) to achieve the safety function(s)

4.) Determine the specification of the Performance Level(s) & their quantitative value

5.) Verify

6.) Validate

7.) Document

There may be variations to the above and we’d certainly like to hear from you and your ideas. However, does this really answer the question?

If you’re the CEO, owner, or plant manager these steps don’t even come close. Nothing here addresses the business case, the cost benefit analysis, the existence of a possible mandate, the impact on employee injuries, or how to maintain compliance with existing machines while adopting and evolving over time to the new functional safety approach. For example, might a plant manager want his supplier of choice to provide a simple 5 X 7 card reflecting a comparison of PL to Cat certified components? This would obviously be needed in order to replace a Cat component with a PL component in an existing safety circuit. Certainly EN ISO 13849-1 takes this into consideration – doesn’t it?

Well, OK, maybe not. So, let’s look at our domestic application safety standards. Does anybody know of a domestic machine safety standard that addresses this issue? Will all suppliers (domestic and international) continue certifying safety components to Cat while adding PL? If so, maybe the 5 X 7 comparison card will not be required?

Has anybody seen a complete list of business steps for moving to and adopting functional safety for machine safety compliance? Is this an issue?

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: functional safety and the steps to be compliant in the US.

Related articles:

Updating Minds About Machine Safety

Integrated Safety Systems: Ensuring Safety and Operational Productivity, Aberdeen Group

Machine Safety – the myths of safety cultures.

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.
Save energy with automation; Process control system upgrades; Dispelling controll myths; Time-sensitive networking; Control system integration; Road to IANA
Additive manufacturing advancements; Machine vision enhances robotics; Fieldbus evolution; Process safety; Advice from System Integrators of the Year; Road to IANA
Salary and career survey: Benchmarks and advice; Designing controls; Remote data collection, historians; Control valve advances; Hannover Messe; Control Engineering International
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

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

The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
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

(copy 5)

click me