Phoenix Contact presents the Digital Safety Solutions program: a package with different services, which can be used individually or as a complete program, including CE marking, assembly documentation, regulation, digital safety, and also operator training and updating.
by Chiara Giaccherini
The safety of machines and systems is a key issue for ensuring operator safety. In this sense, Phoenix Contact dedicates its Digital Safety Solutions program to safety, designed to support operators in managing the safety of machines and systems throughout their life cycle.
Digital Safety Solutions is aimed at all those who deal with safety, such as machine manufacturers, system integrators and end users, and aims to help customers develop specific skills, supporting them in choosing adequate methodologies and to complete the compliance process by creating safe systems.
The specific skills in terms of machinery and system safety are a constantly evolving heritage, since the concepts underlying this issue, linked to technological progress and changes in the social context, are far from static and consolidated. The situation is further complicated by the strong interdependence between Safety solutions and the operating environment. To identify which of the possible safety solutions is the most suitable, it is therefore also essential to perform an in-depth analysis of the specifications relating to the particular context in which it will find application.
A package with four guidelines
The Digital Safety Solutions internal team has a consolidated experience resulting from decades of participation in international regulatory committees and long-term activity in the field of design, production, validation and certification of machines and systems. The expertise of the team members is proven by qualifications and certifications issued by the primary multinational body TÜV. Since the safety requirements in the industrial environment can be extremely vast and varied, Digital Safety Solutions offers a wide range of services, which can be used both as stand-alone services and in more or less complex combinations to develop a real custom-cut operational path, all regardless of the products installed or the technologies used in the case of existing machinery. The Digital Safety Solutions package is divided into four main areas: CE marking, “Making machinery or systems compliant”, Safety Data Monitoring and Training.
Phoenix Contact offers not just a simple consultancy, but a complete approach, an organic program that combines consultancy with service, support in application creation and training activities, organized in modules that can be freely combined to meet individual needs of all the actors in the supply chain.
Finding the best solutions
Following a hypothetical operational path, the range of services associated with the CE Marking process starts from a preliminary identification of the reference directives and standards, to continue with the real risk analysis in accordance with the ISO 12100 standard and/or specific type C standards, with release of technical report. It then provides support in identifying technical solutions aimed at reducing the highlighted risks: drafting of a technical report indicating solutions, necessary products, assembly and connection diagrams for the same; assistance in drafting or complete drafting of the use and maintenance handbook for the machine; preparation of the Declaration of Conformity and assembly of the technical file with a description of the essential safety requirements applicable and the technical solutions adopted, with reference to the applied standards; preparation of the necessary technical documentation in the case of “partly completed machinery”, with examples of assembly or integration.
Make up to standard systems already in use
The services associated with “Making machinery or systems compliant” are aimed at intervening on machines or systems already in use by means of four different main activities, which can always be carried out independently of each other or in sequence for a complete turnkey solution.
The first activity, defined Assessment, has the purpose of verifying the machine compliance with the minimum safety requirements of current regulations. If this first evaluation does not demonstrate the full compliance of the machine being studied, the interventions required for the implementation of the safety measures necessary to achieve the adequate safety level are identified and specified in a special technical report.
The Engineering Review activity ideally arises as an immediately subsequent step and involves the design of those safety functions previously identified as missing and necessary for an adequate safety level of the machine being analyzed.
By means of the so-called Remediation, the machine or system is supplied with state-of-the-art devices and technological solutions appropriate to achieve the necessary safety level.
Finally, the Validation activity is the last stage of the hypothetical process and requires that the interventions performed are certified by issuing, where required, a Declaration of Conformity in relation to legislation or technical standards.
The Safety Data Monitoring (SDM) service makes it possible to remotely monitor and analyze the operation of the machine or system safety devices. It is based on turnkey installation on a machine or industrial plant of a data collection system associated with devices and safety functions. The Safety data thus acquired are managed guaranteeing the highest Security standards and transferred remotely for storage and analysis.
Having precise data on the real operating modes is the first step to better manage the maintenance process, provided that the data collected are treated correctly in order to obtain useful information. In fact, the collected data makes it possible to run statistics and create trends, finding solutions to increase protection or to replace components aimed at better responding to specific processing needs.
Proper training and updating
The training activity stems from the awareness of the need for continuous training, which makes it possible to obtain an adequate and timely knowledge of the subject. The ethical and legislative implications or even the lack of productivity deriving from a bad management of industrial safety do not in fact make it advisable to ignore the frequent updating of the applicable legislative and regulatory references and, above all, their contents. Therefore, both specialized courses divided into three macro topics – Machinery Directive, Functional Safety and Machine Electrical Equipment – and activities vertically tailored to the specific needs of each individual user are offered.