SEP-OCT 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 23 of 67

FACTORY AUTOMATION Increasingly complex manufacturing processes require more complex systems to monitor their safe operation and keep machine operators safe. Automated pro- cesses, robotics, and even time-tested operations all require considerable at- tention to ensure they are both efficient and safe. EN ISO 13849-1 is ultimately making a much safer manufacturing environment, because it accounts for the regulatory gaps that were starting to show in the older standards. RIA R15.06 is similar to ISO 13849-1 in that it takes on a quantitative approach to hazard identification. A functional safety requirement of D (performance level [PL] "d") will be required of all robotic systems, as well as structure category 3 (dual channel), unless a risk assessment determines otherwise. PL safety and category ratings will offer a much more measurably reliant way to gauge safety. Safety begins with a proper risk assessment As regulations like RIA R15.06 and EN ISO 13849-1 are adopted, it is impor- tant to adopt the latest and greatest safety technologies available to match the right product to the right process, taking not only potential machine haz- ards into consideration, but the task be- ing performed. Advances in design and available technology make automated barrier doors an option to guard the ma- chine and protect operators, ultimately increasing productivity and the level of safety for years to come. Regardless of the safety device select- ed for machine guarding, facility man- agers need to remember to perform a proper risk assessment. Although they can be tricky, this process will ultimately make a facility safer for workers and stay in compliance with RIA R15.06. n ABOUT THE AUTHOR John Ritter ( is the Rite- Hite doors product manager. For more than 17 years, Ritter has worked with Rite-Hite, a manufacturer of loading dock equipment, industrial doors, safety barriers, HVLS fans, and industrial curtain walls. For more information, visit View the online version at However, they are not always the best choice in all applications, especially af ter a risk assessment is performed. Physical barriers offer more protection Although light curtains may be the right choice in some applications, a fast- act ing automated barrier door or roll-up curtain may be the better choice. They restrict workers' access into hazardous areas and can eliminate exposure to both the dangerous movement of the machine and secondary hazards produced by the process, such as smoke, flash, splash, mist, and flying debris. Thus, they more comprehensively diminish the potential risk and the severity of exposure. Another benefit to physical barriers is that they take up a much smaller foot- print than presence-sensing devices. This is because barriers with properly integrated safety interlocks (up to PLe per EN ISO 13849-1) render certain as- pects of OSHA's distance formula moot. With no depth penetration factor, au- tomated barriers can be placed much closer to the hazardous area. This re- duced safety zone allows workers to be much closer to the automated process, which saves floor space. ISO 13849-1 and EN 62061 emerge The move from EN 954-1 to ISO 13849-1 and EN 62061 represented one of the larg- est regulatory shifts in decades. While ap proval of this harmonized standard was a hotly contested fight 10 years ago, all has been well since it went into effect in 2012. At its core, ISO 13849-1 is a clearly de- fined set of rules to follow when design- ing the safety system as applied to indus- trial machine control systems. Officially defined as "safety of machinery, safety- related parts of control systems, general principles for design," this regulatory shift was made necessary by advances in technology for safety control systems and methodology. The ISO 13849-1 standard is more quantitative than EN 954-1. It applies common sense and forces facility man- agers to validate their safety systems. Previously, EN 954-1 was conceptual and only required facilities to apply safety de- vices (controls), properly specifying non- programmable, out-of-date technology. 24 INTECH SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 WWW.ISA.ORG

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of InTech - SEP-OCT 2018