Machine safety: Incorporating functional safety, part 1

When considering “functional safety,” look at what differs compared to other safety initiatives, consider U.S. versus international standards, examine conformance responsibilities, and think about what changes are needed, if any, as a manufacturer.

03/13/2013


When considering “functional safety,” look at what differs compared to other safety initiatives, consider U.S. versus international standards, examine conformance responsibilities, and think about what changes are needed, if any, as a manufacturer. 

  1. What is so different about “functional safety”?
  2. Are U.S. domestic standards adopting functional safety requirements from the international standards?
  3. Do the international standards place primary conformance responsibility on manufacturers like with OSHA?
  4. Do we have to change our machine safety program as a manufacturer to meet the compliance requirements?

 

Functional safety can fit with other safety initiativesLet’s take a look at these four questions addressing the first question here in Part 1.

 

Definition from IEC 61508-1 - Functional safety is “part of the overall safety relating to the equipment under control and the equipment under control’s control system which depends on the correct functioning of the Electrical/Electronic/Programmable Electronic safety-related systems, other technology safety-related systems and external risk reduction facilities”.

 

What is so different about “functional safety”?

Who has an answer or supporting comment about this question? From my perspective the major difference in approach is to design in machine safety and to take into consideration the life cycle performance of safety-related functions. This approach therefore brings into consideration factors such as; mean time to fail dangerous, diagnostics, reliable cycles, software and firmware and many more considerations for each component in a given safety-related circuit. A circuit is also considered as electrical, electronic, pneumatic, and hydraulic.

 

Prior methodologies did not take these factors into consideration in my opinion. Also, aren’t functional safety standards intended to encourage designers to focus more on the functions that are necessary to reduce each individual risk, and what performance is required for each function, rather than simply relying on particular components?

 

The primary standard addressing functional safety requirements is ISO 13849-1: 2006 Safety of machinery —Safety-related parts of control systems.

 

J.B. Titus, CFSE

Have you found difficulty understanding any of these issues?  Add your comments or thoughts to the discussion by submitting your ideas, experiences, and challenges in the comments section below.

 

Related articles:

Inside Machines: Does adopting ISO 13849-1:2006 change the U.S. model for compliance and enforcement?

Machine Safety – does OSHA reference consensus standards for compliance?

Machine Safety: Is OSHA okay with my 'acceptable' risk mitigation?

 

Contact: http://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...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
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.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

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

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.