More than 100 delegates attended the recent machine safety conference at Bletchley Park, organised by BARA, the British Automation and Robot Association, in association with Drives & Controls. A variety of industry experts, including representatives from the HSE, addressed the delegates on topical issues including the transition from EN 954-1 to standards based on functional safety.
After the conference, the delegates were given a tour of the Bletchley Park code-breaking site, which is also regarded as the birthplace of the modern computer. They were among the first to see a fully working, rebuilt version of the Turing Bombe – the machine that was used to crack the Enigma codes. The Bombe, which remained a secret for almost 50 years, has just been switched on after 12 years of meticulous reconstruction, to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the British Computer Society.
Following the success of the conference and the continuing high level of interest shown in the subject of standards and safety-related networking, BARA is now organising further events to cover these areas. The next one will be held in the North West in a few months’ time.
"These conferences continue to be extremely popular, as witnessed by the capacity attendance," says Dr Richard Piggin, the conference director and chairman of BARA`s Safety SIG (Special Interest Group). "Delegates were clearly articulating the need for a forum where functional safety standards and legislation can be discussed, particularly with the HSE.
"Machine designers and builders, system integrators and users of machinery have expressed their better understanding and improved knowledge that these events impart," he continues. "As the subject develops further with the transition to new standards, and becomes increasingly complex, BARA will continue to educate the market and provide a forum for debate."
Photo credit: G Lock