EN 954-1 is extended but machine designers should stay on course

The news that use of EN 954-1 is to be extended will be a relief to some machine designers, but the general feeling is that they should aim to conform to successor standards EN ISO 13849-1 and EN/IEC 62061 as soon as possible.

There is no doubt that EN 954-1 is out dated, and that technologies now allows machines to be stopped and started safely by remote. And mean times between potentially dangerous failures can now be reliably calculated and built into the design.

John McAuliffe, head of the International Services Group and general manager of Pilz Ireland says, it is possible that machine operators will specify conformance to the new standards to ensure they are on the safe side legally should an accident occur. Furthermore, while EN 954-1 is recognised throughout the world, it is not an international standard, whereas its successors are.

Pilz has already certified its products to the new standards and tailored its services to suit. Festo, another German headquartered supplier, says it is already in the process of rolling out specific products and services to support the new standards and has launched a series of valve manifolds with built in proximity sensors, and a range of failsafe brake units for pneumatic actuators.

In addition, Festo has created a one day orientation course, 'Understanding the new machine directive'.

Tom Shelley

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