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Globally, statutory guidelines for the design and operation of machines mandate a risk assessment to identify potential hazards, minimize risks and comply with applicable health and safety requirements to protect both people and machines. The main regulatory standard that affects pneumatics technology in packaging systems is ISO 13849, which provides safety requirements and guidance on the principles for the design and integration of safety-related parts of control systems.
It’s important for machine designers to take into account all the moving parts in an axis—a pneumatic actuator or cylinder, for example—and how that motion needs to be controlled to create safety circuits that satisfy the ISO 13849 requirements. “ISO 13849 requires machine manufacturers to apply the recognized rules of good engineering practice and proven safety principles and recommends validation procedures,” said Dr. Rolf Zollner, a leading European safety risk management consultant. “One thing is frequently short-changed: Not only electric controls can be used to realize safety-related controls—pneumatics can also get the job done.