Posted July 12, 2023

Pilz recommends review of new safety standards

Pilz, an automation company for the safety validation of plant and machinery, is urging industry review of new safety standards following release by The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) of the new edition of ISO 13849-1 in April 2023.

Pilz urges review safety standardsThe standard is one of the main safety standards for the design of safety-related control systems for machinery. The revised version specifies a range of guidelines, for determining the performance level for example, and thus provides better support with implementation. It also takes account of the greater significance of software and validation.

Pilz recommends that design engineers and operators in mechanical engineering familiarize themselves with the upcoming new features at the earliest opportunity.

ISO 13849-1 “Safety of machinery—safety-related parts of control systems, Part 1: General principles for design,” is the most important functional safety standard in engineering. In comparison with the previous version, there are now more precise specifications for the risk parameters used to determine the required performance level (PLr), which can be used to divide the level of risk reduction into stages.

The standard now uses five factors to explain the options that exist for avoiding hazards, and how to determine the probability of those hazards occurring. For example, these factors include the speed at which the hazard occurs (e.g., fast or slow) or the possibility of avoiding the hazard (e.g., by escaping). Machine manufacturers and operators must consider the amendments when classifying the risk of their safety concepts.

Machine manufacturers will also have greater flexibility. Each safety function can be implemented by combining multiple subsystems. These are available either as subsystems that are pre-validated by the manufacturer or are designed as new subsystems by the machine builder or integrator.

One important aspect concerns the requirements regarding software and management of
functional safety, particularly regarding safety-related application software (SRASW). The standard contains precise specifications for how the software design and validation process are to be formulated, depending on the performance level.

Pilz collaborated in the preparation of the draft standard. The company offers a tailor-made range of services for each phase of a machine’s lifecycle and shares its knowledge as part of a comprehensive, certified training offer for functional safety.