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Understanding the standards? A competitive advantage

Safety of machinery is always a topical subject in Europe: builders have to design and manufacture safe and efficient machinery that conforms to standards and that guarantee worker safety.

It is therefore essential to understand these standards in order to apply them properly: a competitive advantage that Gefran offers to all of its customers.

More than ever, safety of machinery is a critical concern. Machinery builders have to guarantee safety for the entire life cycle of the machinery: from initial design stages to installation and normal operation to complete decommissioning.

All machinery placed on the EU market must conform to the Essential Health and Safety Requisites (EHSRs) of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/CE.

Therefore, machinery builders must produce an accurate risk analysis, and when risks cannot be completely eliminated, all possible measures to reduce them must be adopted. They accomplish this by implementing specific protective devices.

European safety standards

The safety control system that manages protective devices must be built in conformity to one of the two comparable European standards:

  • EN ISO 13849-1:2008: Safety of machinery – Safety-related parts of control systems – General principles for design
  • EN/IEC 62061:2005: Safety of machinery – Functional safety of safety-related electrical, electronic, and programmable electronic control systems

Both standards provide very similar results: the SIL (Safety Integrity Level, defined in EN/IEC 62061) and PL (Performance Level, derived from EN ISO 13849-1) are comparable.

The two standards introduce the concept of functional safety: the aspect regarding the safety of machinery that depends on the proper functioning of a command and control system in response to input signals.

For more information on current standards, visit the website of Assocomaplast (Italian Plastics and Rubber Processing Machinery and Moulds Manufacturers’ Association).

Safety: a competitive advantage

The entire industrial sector is shifting from a concept of safety understood as a simple addition to machinery in conformity to current laws to a concept of safety as an integral part of machine function.

For machinery builders, new safety strategies become assets on which to base a new competitive advantage, improve their productivity, and increase their efficiency on the entire international market.

Gefran and safety: ad hoc products and training courses

The plastics sector as well has shown growing attention to functional safety. Gefran, the leader in the plastics sector and always attentive to sensitive themes such as safety, supplies pressure transducers certified Performance Level ‘c’ under EN ISO 13849-1 for high-temperature applications, either fluid-free or with filling fluid (such as sodium-potassium).

These transducers also conform to the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) Directive.

The safety function performed by PL ‘c’ transducers regards correctly transducing pressure in the measurement chamber to identify any overpressures in the chamber, and signaling when a fixed safety limit is exceeded.

Gefran makes products that ensure high performance as well as the safety of machinery. But that’s not all.

The awarenessthat understanding the standards – to apply them properly – is truly a competitive advantage, has led Gefran to organize training courses on the safety of machinery in cooperation with a variety of groups and associations.

Visit the Gefran Academy section to keep updated on the latest courses!