International Standards, Work Equipment And Machinery

When working in complex industries such as the oil-, gas- and petrochemical industry, power plants, solar energy and the wind industry international standards for equipment are of the utmost importance. However, for each of these industries very specific demands are valid which are also subject to change. Zagroz can assist you in every step of this process. Our engineers are specialized in all aspects of the international standards for equipment which are valid for a specific industry.

Equipment such as machine tools and robots has been used extensively in a variety of manufacturing sectors for decades. Individuals working with or in close proximity to these machines are reliant on their safe operation for protection, as are nearby installations. IEC TC (Technical Committee) 44: Safety of machinery – Electrotechnical aspects, prepares International Standards to ensure this is the case.

However industrial machines are powered, in many instances their operation entails risks. Even when used carefully, they may cause injuries or death. The addition of electrical equipment, such as electromechanical sensors and switches that can activate safeguarding mechanisms to keep operators at a safe distance or halt operation automatically in case of danger, can prevent accidents occurring or reduce their severity.

International Standards developed by TC 44 include general and specific requirements for different types of electrical equipment used with machines. They may concern indication, marking and actuation – including visual, acoustic and tactile signals – as well as the location and operation of actuators.

TC 44 International Standards also cover ESPE (electro-sensitive protective equipment), such as various kinds of AOPDs (active opto-electronic protective devices) and other equipment designed to detect human presence.

Among the many IEC TCs that prepare International Standards for these devices, IEC TC 44 is notable as it aims to protect users from the risks posed by all kinds of machines by preparing standards for electrical equipment associated with machinery.

Its work is closely linked to horizontal safety standards in the IEC 61508 series prepared by IEC SC 65A: System aspects [of industrial-process measurement, control and automation].

Structure And Standards

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent, non-governmental membership organization and the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards.

International Standards make things work. They give world-class specifications for products, services and systems, to ensure quality, safety and efficiency. They are instrumental in facilitating international trade.

A standard is a document that sets out requirements for a specific item, material, component, system or service, or describes in detail a particular method or procedure. Standards facilitate international trade by ensuring compatibility and interoperability of components, products and services. They bring benefits to businesses and consumers in terms of reducing costs, enhancing performance and improving safety.

Standards can exist at many levels and include: international standards (prefixed by “ISO” or “EN”, sometimes by both).

For developing International Standards covering a wide range of equipment TC 44 is organized into 4 WGs (Working Groups), one Project Team that looks at requirements for the electrical equipment for machine tools, 7 MTs (Maintenance Teams) for existing standards, and a JWG (Joint Working Group) with ISO TC 199: Safety of machinery.

TC 44 has published 13 International Standards. They include the IEC 60204 series of International Standards covering the electrical equipment of machines, the IEC 61310 series dealing with indication, marking and actuation, and the IEC 61496 series for electro-sensitive protective equipment.

Objectives And Prospects

TC 44 aims to keep its International Standards up to date to reflect new/changing technologies and to ensure they are state of the art at the time they are drafted.

It states that it will work with ISO TC 199 to merge IEC 62061 and ISO 13849-1 into a dual logo IEC/ISO standard.

TC 44 wants to raise worldwide awareness of its International Standards by increasing awareness amongst industrial customers who apply TC 44 standards. This may be effected through contact with NCs, workshops, presentations and other distributed material.

As industrialisation extends to more and more countries, and automation is introduced to all sectors, the safety of industrial machines, which are traded on a global scale, becomes ever more important. The work of IEC TC 44 experts, which is constantly being updated and expanded will therefore remain essential to ensure that the safe operation of machinery throughout the world continues to increase.