Rockwell Automation Launches Its Sistema Product Data Library

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Data for Rockwell Automation machinery safety products is now available in the form of a library file for use with BGIA’s SISTEMA calculation tool based on EN ISO 13849-1. The library is available for download from the Rockwell Automation Safety Portal.

The SISTEMA tool, developed by Germany’s BGIA organization, automates calculation of the attained Performance Level (PL) of the safety-related parts of a machine’s control system in the context of EN ISO 13849-1. SISTEMA is available in English and German versions and may be downloaded free of charge by following the link to BGIA’s website from the Rockwell Automation Safety Portal.

The availability of this data library is evidence of the recognition of the impact of EN ISO 13849-1 and other functional safety standards on industry. It is one of a number of activities and tools launched to provide help and guidance on how to deal with changes in legislation and standards in an increasingly competitive environment.

For many years, the most common way of classifying safety-related systems on machinery was to use the categories of the standard EN 954-1 “Safety related parts of control systems.” This standard will be withdrawn on December 28, 2009. After this date, EN 954-1 can no longer be used to provide a presumption of conformity with the European Machinery Directive. A new standard to replace EN 954-1 has been published and is available for use: EN ISO 13849-1:2008, or “Safety of machinery – safety related parts of control systems.” It provides a transition path from the previous five “categories” (B, 1, 2, 3, 4) to the new classification of five “performance levels” (a, b, c, d, e).

In some circumstances it may be possible to use alternative standards such as EN (IEC) 62061. However, the majority of designers will most likely turn to EN ISO 13849-1 because the standard has been specifically drafted to provide a transition path for those who design systems to categories per EN 954-1. It covers all control system technologies (electrical, mechanical, pneumatic, and hydraulic) and can be used either for a complete system or a subsystem. For the next few years, EN ISO 13849-1 is likely to become the most commonly used standard for machine safety systems.

The combination of the SISTEMA tool and the Rockwell Automation SISTEMA library will provide machinery and system designers with comprehensive support in the evaluation of safety in the context of EN ISO 13849-1. Users are spared time-consuming consultations of tables and formulae since these tasks are performed by the software. The final results can be printed out in a multiple-page report.

Guidance information, training courses, and events relating to SISTEMA and other functional safety issues will be available from Rockwell Automation. BGIA, the developer of SISTEMA, is a well-respected research and testing institution based in Germany. It is particularly involved in solving scientific and technical problems relating to safety in the context of statutory accident insurance and prevention in Germany. It works in cooperation with occupational health and safety agencies from over 20 countries. Experts from the BGIA, along with their BG colleagues, had significant participation in the drafting of EN ISO 13849-1.

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