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Pilz advises re EN954-1 extension

14 December 2009

At the meeting of the European Machinery Working Group on December 7 and 8 2009 in Brussels, the EU Commission again discussed the request from the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) to extend EN 954-1’s presumption of conformity.

According to information from a representative of the CEN, the majority of member states were in favour of an extension and the extension will be granted. However, the Commission has still to define an exact timescale for this extension. For this the relevant announcement in the Official EU Journal, which will be published December 15th or 16th 2009, has to be awaited.

Only once this has been published we will finally know how much longer the presumption of conformity for EN 954-1 in parallel with EN ISO 13849-1 and EN/IEC 62061 will apply.
“As safety experts in automation and machinery, there are various reasons why we can only recommend that manufacturers and operators apply the successor standards EN ISO 13849-1 and EN/IEC 62061 as early as possible”, says John McAuliffe, Head of the International Services Group and General Manager of Pilz Ireland.

Check the application of EN 954-1 carefully
First and foremost, the extent to which EN 954-1 can represent the current state-of-the-art in machinery safety design is debatable. What’s more, it’s possible that machine operators will specify application of the new standards in their requirement manual, to ensure that legally they are on the safe side as regards liability, should an accident occur.

Many B and C standards listed under the current Machinery Directive already refer to EN ISO 13849-1 and EN/IEC 62061. These include, for example:

- EN 61496: Safety of machinery – Electro-sensitive protective equipment
- EN 60204-1: Safety of machinery – Electrical equipment of machines
- EN ISO 13850: Safety of machinery – Emergency stop – Principles for design
- EN 848: Safety of woodworking machines
- EN ISO 10218-1: Robots for industrial environments – Safety requirements – Part 1: Robot.

Other C standards will gradually be amended accordingly. Once amended, application of EN 954-1 would no longer enable presumption of conformity for these standards.
Finally it should also be noted that while EN 954-1 is recognised throughout the world, it is not an international standard. This is an important aspect, particularly for machine manufacturers who operate internationally.

Support in converting to the new standards
Pilz has already certified its products to EN ISO 13849-1 and EN/IEC 62061 and has also tailored its services to suit, from its range of seminars through to implementation of the CE mark.
What’s more, the PAScal Safety Calculator provides a convenient tool for calculating the Performance Level and Safety Integrity Level that safety functions can achieve, based on the components used.

As a result, Pilz can support design engineers who have already converted to EN ISO 13849-1 and EN/IEC 62061. At the same time the company will also continue to provide products, services and technical support for those design engineers who continue for now to apply EN 954-1.

Email services@pilz.co.uk for more information about Safety Services and PAScal, telephone 01536 460766 or visit http://www.pilz.co.uk/.


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