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The New Machinery Directive - Assembly of a Production Line

In the last issue we discussed the New Machinery Directive that will come into force on the 29.12.09 with no transition period. Over the coming issues we will present examples of typical scenarios that machine users and machine builders may face with the introduction of the Directive. We will explain what sections of the directive are applicable in each situation and what measures will need to be taken in order to remain in compliance.

Scenario 1 – Assembly of Production Line

Scenario
A manufacturer of packaging products for the food and beverage industry is upgrading a production line with commissioning scheduled for 2010. The production requires a continuous process whereby two sheets of plastic are unrolled, treated and formed. The line will comprise of existing machines, new machines and new robotic cells (partly completed machines).  With the adoption of lean manufacturing operations manufacturing operators will conduct routine cleaning and maintenance operations will enter danger zones as required.

Interpretation under the new MD
Under the new MD, this production line is considered an assembly of machines and partly completed machines. The machine user integrating the line becomes the manufacturer and must conduct a risk assessment on the overall line.

Compliance approach
A safety concept for the line compliant with the essential requirements of the directive is required ensuring that the safety-related parts of the control system must apply in a coherent way to the whole of an assembly of machinery and/or partly completed machinery. As operators enter the danger zone and not all parts of the line are visible from all control stations, the safety concept should automatically prevent start-up if it detects somebody in a danger zone. New sensing technologies such as SafetyEye® can be considered.

On completion of the installation the necessary assessment and validation of the machine safety should be conducted by competent persons and the necessary technical files created.

The manufacturer of the complete assembly or his authorised representative must issue a CE certificate of conformity for the complete assembly. Pilz can act as authorised representative.

If you have an concerns about your machinery and compliance or if you would like to discuss what impact the New Machinery Directive will have on your business, call us on 021 4346535 for a preliminary discussion or email your query to sales@pilz.ie