It's official, EN 954-1 can be used for CE-marking until December 31, 2011

Jan 4, 2010

It's official, EN 954-1 can be used for CE-marking until December 31, 2011

 It's official- can use EN 954-1 for CE-marking until December 31, 2011

December 29, 2009 was the first day the new Machinery Directive, 2006/42/EC became effective. On that same day, the Official Journal of the European Union, published a two year extension of the validity of EU safety standard, EN 954-1.

The new date of cessation of presumption of conformity for EN 954-1 is December 31, 2011. The two-year extension granted by the EU Commission is less than the three years requested by the EU standards-making bodies.

The official announcement can be read at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/JOHtml.do?uri=OJ:C:2009:321:SOM:EN:HTML

During the transition period, which started in 2006, machinery manufacturers can access compliance of their control systems to the EU Machinery Directive (for CE marking) using either the superseded standard, EN 954-1, or its successor standards, EN ISO 13849-1 (2006 and 2008 editions) and EN 62061 (2005).

Impact on machinery destined for USA and Canada

"It is increasingly likely that machinery purchasers will specify the use of the latest standards (including ISO 13849-1 and EN ISO 13849-1), regardless of whether an 'old' standard is still allowed for presumption of conformity in the EU. They have good reason to do this. They are assured that their equipment meets all of the current EU and international standards, which is extremely important if, they chose to relocate the equipment at a later date when the 'older' standards are no longer valid. And of course from a liability standpoint, machinery purchasers may choose to use the latest standards as an element of their risk management programs," says Roberta Nelson Shea, General Manager of Michigan-based Pilz Automation Safety.

International Impact

It should be noted that while EN 954-1 is recognized throughout the world, it is not an international standard. This is an important aspect, particularly for machine manufacturers and users that operate internationally. At an international level, ISO 13849-1:2006 (second edition) has already replaced the first edition of ISO 13849-1:1999, which was based on EN 954-1.

EN 954-1 no longer represents state-of-the-art

First and foremost, the EN 954-1 represented the state-of-the-art in machinery safety design in 1996. There have been many changes in machine safety and control technology in the last 14 years.

Product-specific standards

Many Type B and Type C (product-specific) standards listed under the current Machinery Directive already refer to EN ISO 13849-1 and EN/IEC 62061. These include, for example:

  • EN 61496: Safety of machinery- Electro-sensitive protective equipment
  • EN ISO 13850: Safety of machinery- Emergency stop- Principles for design
  • EN 848: Safety of woodworking machines
Other C standards will gradually be amended accordingly. Once these standards are amended, application of EN 954-1 would no longer enable presumption of conformity for these standards. This leaves machine builders and integrators with the unsettling situation where they either use:

  • EN 954-1, but instead of using the applicable C level standard instead they comply with the Machinery directive
OR

  • the applicable C level standard which requires EN ISO 13849-1 or EN/IEC 62061
Builders and integrators would then have to ask themselves, "what does this mean from a liability standpoint if the machinery is different depending on the approach used? What does this mean if the machinery is moved in two years?"

 Support in converting to the new standards

Pilz has already certified its products to EN ISO 13849-1 and EN/IEC 62061 and has also tailored its services to suit, from training to implementation of providing CE marking services. What's more, Pilz's PAScal Safety Calculator provides a convenient software tool for calculating the performance level and safety integrity level that safety functions can achieve based on the components used. A free trial copy of PAScal is available for download from www.pilz.us. Unlike SISTEMA, PAScal supports EN/IEC 62061 as well as EN ISO 13849-1.

Pilz supports design engineers in the United States, Canada and around the world who have already converted to EN ISO 13849-1 and EN/IEC 62061. At the same time, Pilz continues to provide products, services and technical support for those design engineers who have chosen to continue to apply EN 954-1.