Drives and Controls Magazine

Machine safety group will offer advice to users

02 January, 2012

A group of six UK companies has joined forces to offer advice, expertise and services related to machine safety. Between them, the six – Festo, Fortress Interlocks, Pilz Automation Technology, Troax, UK Engineering and Werma – cover a broad spectrum of safety-related technologies from pneumatics, to electronic and physical guarding systems.

“No single vendor or even integrator has all of these collective technologies, attendant technical support, manufacturing and application experience under one roof,” says David Collier, business development manager at Pilz Automation. “UK industry needs an organisation which can make this collective know-how more readily accessible.”

The new grouping, called the Machinery Safety Alliance, is launching a Web portal in early 2012 and is running a series of seminars around the UK, focussing on the real-world use of safety technologies and the application of EN ISO 13849-1 and other safety-relevant standards. Visitors to the Web site will be able to register for the seminars, download technical articles and keep up-to-date with news.

“We really think we can be stronger than the sum of our parts, and help to boost understanding of machinery safety in the UK” says Collier. “Not only do we offer diverse technology expertise, but a wide range of experience across all industry sectors.”

The formation of the Alliance coincides with the withdrawal of EN 954-1 which, until the end of 2011, provided presumption of conformity to the Machinery Directive. EN ISO 13849 will now become the most widely used standard for the design, verification and validation of safety-related parts of control systems.