Safety concept and safety function

Functional safety on machines and systems

Safety concepts and functional safety – For users and operators, safe interaction with machinery is always paramount. What’s just as important, however, is that protective functions and equipment don’t impede operation, e.g. by needlessly hampering repetitive movements.

Certain manipulations, however, at the expense of safety are inevitable in this respect. Other standards, furthermore, apply when it comes to machine maintenance that often necessitate additional protective equipment or extended technical configurations, e.g. to allow for adjustments to be carried out safely, including when protected areas are open

What exactly is functional safety?

Functional safety refers to protective measures that have an impact on moving machine parts and functions. Multiple components are usually involved that are interlinked such that e.g. they bring movement safely to a stop.

In addition to electrical movements, hydraulic and pneumatic movements and functions should also be considered as integral components. Safety functions are described by the Performance Level, which provides information on the quality of a protective function. The greater an existing hazard, the more effective the protective function must be. The necessary extent of the Performance Level is determined during risk assessment.

The components that belong to a protective function are described in standards. A rule of thumb is that all components can be involved, from sensors to actuators. Ultimately, all safety related parts of a controller are examined once more to determine whether in fact their integration meets the necessary quality. The process completes once validation is successful.

CE-CON safety concepts

Identifying hazards is key when it comes to corrective action, though tailoring the process to the respective circumstances is often necessary. For any identifiable hazard, a suitable corrective action can be found. Our safety concepts are created on this basis. The selection of protective function and indeed the potential associated costs to the business are instrumental in this respect. The use of active opto-electronic protective devices such as e.g. light curtains is one protection option of choice. Often, however, the follow-up costs of compulsory annual inspection are disregarded. It is thus necessary to examine a safety concept through a holistic approach and considering aspects of sustainability.

It goes without saying that safety concepts from CE-CON consider all statutory requirements associated with relevant directives and standards. Furthermore, we specifically address your local circumstances, which always significantly influence which protective measures can actually be implemented. We observe the following rule of thumb: The most expensive solution is not necessarily the best and often is even entirely unsuitable as a protective system. Our experience allows us to perfectly bridge the gap between benefits, cost and feasibility and focus on your requirements, and all of our safety functions are therefore customised with expert knowledge and vision.

Unresolved issues?

If you have further questions on functional safety or the topics of Performance Level Validation (PL) and the SISTEMA software wizard, please get in touch or join one of our popular webinars.

Further useful information is available in our blog.

CE software & Academy



CE-CON Safety CE software supports machine manufacturers, operators and service providers with respect to CE marking.

Whether you need to produce a risk assessment or technical documentation, CE-CON Safety will accompany you through the process.

Book a trial version and see just how easily you can create your own individual safety concept with protective functions.

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Numerous topics on machine safety can be found in our Academy offering.

Multi-day courses as well as webinars that you can join from the comfort of your desk are readily available.

You can book these conveniently and securely online. Please see our Academy page for an overview of topics.

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