Safety standards define safety as freedom from unacceptable risk. The most effective way to eliminate risks is to design them away. But as risk reduction by design is not always possible or practical, safeguarding with static guards are often the next best option, and for several reasons.
Stopping a machine quickly and safely, not only reduces risk but also increases machine uptime and productivity compared with abrupt safety stops. At the same time, the legal obligations are met and the safety of people and
the environment is ensured.
Functional safety in machinery usually means systems that safely monitor and, when necessary, override the machine applications to ensure safe operation. A safety-related system thus implements the required safety functions by detecting hazardous conditions and bringing operation to a safe state, by ensuring that a desired
action, e.g. safe stopping, takes place.
The concept of Functional Safety was introduced by the IEC 61508: "Functional Safety of Electrical/Electronic/Programmable Electronic Safety-related Systems"
Machineriy Manufacturers normally refer to the EN 62061 and more often to the EN 13849-1 when they need to assess the Performance Level of their Safety Systems. The software SISTEMA, free for download from the dguv.de web site, helps in this task.
GT Engineering, together with the Università di Brescia, has developped a methodology compliant with the EN 13849-1 that assesses the PL of a certain safety logic. Being a methodology and not a software is intuitive and practical to use. If you would like to know more, please do not hesitate to contact us.