Need products and solutions to help you meet the new Machinery Directive?
Over the last few months the reports of changes by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) has caused confusion over when BS EN 954-1 will be withdrawn and how to gain compliance to the European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC.
For many years BS EN 954-1 has been used as a standard of conformity to the Machinery Directive 98/37/EC. With the new European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC coming into force on December 29 2009 two new standards, BS EN ISO 13849-1 or BS EN 62061 come into play, effectively replacing BS EN 954-1.
The most recent notice from CEN on 21.09.09 states that EN 954-1 will not give presumption of conformity to the new machinery directive 2006/42/EC until further notice. The issue will be discussed at the next meeting of the Machinery Working Group to be held on 7th December 2009, when a final decision will be made.
Changes to Machine Safety Legislation
The new standards bring some changes for both the machine builder and end user, and whilst EN954-1 is well understood and simple to use, the new standards offer significant improvements. For example, EN 13849-1 uses a quantitative rather than a qualitative process meaning that more effective assessments of risk can be made, which now take into account the components used.
Another issue concerning EN 954-1 is that it doesn't cover areas such as complex systems and programmable safety controllers, which did not exist when the standard was written. Machine builders should therefore use EN 62061 which covers electrical control systems. However these new standards bring some issues with new and confusing terminology, for example, Performance Levels (PLr) are brought in with the new EN 13849 and SIL levels with EN 62061, so persons responsible should ensure that they understand the differences and implications.
Finding the right product
Whilst these new standards require more diligence, machine builders do not need to buy new products, just ensure that the standards have been applied. Knowing the range of potential solutions and machine guarding equipment can help decide which product is right for the application. With the widest range of machine guarding from mechanical guards to complex light curtains, mats and bumpers RS has your solution, available now.
For more explanation of the standards as well as thousands of components from all the market leading brands visit rswww.com/automation
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