The safe handling of a machine is always a top priority for users and operators. It is just as important, however, that protective functions and devices do not obstruct work, e.g. by unnecessarily complicating recurring operations. Here, tampering at the expense of safety is inevitable. In addition, different standards apply to the maintenance of machines, which often necessitate additional protective devices or extended technical designs so that, for example, adjustment work can be carried out safely even when the protective zones are open.
Functional safety refers to protective measures that have an effect on moving machine parts and functions. It usually consists of several components that are linked to each other in a way that, for example, they bring a movement to a safe standstill.
In addition to electrical movements, hydraulic and pneumatic movements and functions must also be seen as components. Safety functions are described by the Performance Level, which provides information on the quality of a protective function.
The higher an existing risk is, the better the quality of the protective function must be. How high the performance level must be is determined during the risk assessment.
Standards describe which components belong to a protective function. From the sensor to the actuator is the rule of thumb. In the end, all safety-related parts of a control system are checked again to see whether their linkage actually corresponds to the required quality. The process is not completed until the validation has been successful.
To recognize dangers is one thing, but to take appropriate countermeasures is often to be individually adapted to the respective process. Because there is a suitable measure against every hazard. Our safety concepts are drawn up on this basis. Both the selection of the protective function and the associated possible operating costs play a role. The use of opto-electronic protective devices, such as light curtains, is a popular protection option. However, the follow-up costs are often disregarded by the obligatory annual inspection. It is therefore important to consider a safety concept from a holistic point of view as well as from the point of view 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.
The EN ISO 13849-1 standard describes the procedure for quantifying hazards and determining the performance level (PLr) for safety functions. The second part of the EN ISO 13849 standard specifies how the performance level required in the risk assessment is calculated and validated for each control measure.
Finding the right protective device for every application, reviewing component documentation and filtering out necessary parameters is time-consuming and, despite the existing free SISTEMA software from the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (IFA), costly. It therefore requires trained personnel to handle the software correctly.
Integrating these parameters into the machine control system, taking into account the category and performance level, is complicated and depends on the necessary stop category.
We will be happy to advise you from component selection to circuit diagram creation for your pneumatic, hydraulic and electrical control components and safety functions. Send us your circuit diagrams or tell us the number of drives (electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic) and safety functions (emergency stop buttons, safety light barriers, scanners, safety mats, etc.) and we will send you a fixed price offer. Please have a look at our offer in our Academy.