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Extension to machinery directive standard

11 September 2009

The European Commission (EC) has announced that BS EN 954-1 can be used to support compliance to the European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC for a further three years in spite of the introduction of new replacement standards. However, Schneider Electric is urging machine builders not to delay, but to start conforming to the new standards as soon as possible.

For many years BS EN 954-1 has been followed for presumption of conformity to the Machinery Directive 98/37/EC. However, the two new standards - BS EN ISO 13849-1 or BS EN 62061 - that have been developed were set to replace BS EN 954-1 on December 29 2009, and would have been the only control system standards accepted under the new European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. This change has been publicised for a long time and many machine builders and control system suppliers have invested time and money in preparing to follow the new standards.
However, some organisations have found it difficult to get ready for the change and, as a result, the deadline for withdrawal of the presumption of conformity for EN 954-1 has recently been extended to 2012. This means that machine builders can now continue using the old standard, BS EN 954-1, for another three years, potentially delaying advancements in machine safety.

Peter Still, industry standards manager at Schneider Electric, commented: "BS EN 954-1 is well understood and is seen as simple to use, but is not really rigorous enough to ensure sufficient safety integrity in many modern and complex machines. Complying with the new standards may be more time consuming, but it can achieve greater levels of safety throughout the machine's life.
"At Schneider Electric we are fully supportive of the new directive and have therefore invested in a product range that helps meet the new standards and have made our functional safety data visible to help with compliance. Despite the deadline extension, it's really important that machine builders start complying with the two new standards as soon as possible, to ensure they are working to the highest level of safety. "

To help machine builders understand the new standards, Schneider Electric has published a Safe Machines Handbook - an unbiased and concise guide explaining some aspects of the new directive, which can be downloaded by visiting www.schneider-electric.co.uk.


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