The first priority of machinery and equipment must be safety and reliability, regardless of type or region.
Standards are the most important regulatory tool to ensure they deliver on their promise of safety and reliability, and managing standards is a continuous learning process.
Suppose you have a global company whose employees in South Korea use the same machines as those in China, Brazil, or India, and each machine complies with the technical and safety-related requirements of the location. The same machine, the same safety and reliability, higher production efficiency, lower cost…what a “perfect” scenario.
However, the ideal is very full, and the reality is very skinny. This idealized scenario is difficult to achieve in reality.
The standard acts like a “bodyguard”, allowing a device to be used in that country if it meets the corresponding local requirements, and prohibiting it if it doesn’t. The standard has a “strong” geographical label, but there is a certain degree of comparability and compatibility. The standards used within the EU are more or less voluntary “taste”, while in China there are both recommended and mandatory standards.
“Standards have national boundaries”
In fact, the conditions under which devices need to enter each “door” or country vary widely. Taking the European Union as an example, its applicable regulations (applicable as binding legal acts immediately after publication) or directives (such as the Machinery Directive, etc.) are used to form general safety objectives. For countries within the EU, the relevant regulations/directives will only take effect if they are implemented as national laws. Therefore, verification to achieve security goals requires an exact specification.
Machine builders follow standards, and verification is easiest when machine builders use harmonized EU standards. The reason for this is the “presumption of compliance” principle, which means: if I apply these standards, I can guarantee compliance with the security objectives defined in them. A harmonized EN standard shows that it can fulfill the requirements of EU directives, but EN standards are not mandatory, especially in countries outside the EU.
Since the standards of each country are different, even a machine or a single product designed according to the relevant EU machinery directive and bearing the CE certification mark is not enough for a machine or a single product to be used around the world – even if the EU itself has achieved a high level of safety Level: This means that if an Italian machine manufacturer wants to send a machine to a Korean customer, they must first understand and make the equipment compliant with the relevant Korean requirements, and when shipping to Brazil, they need to make the equipment compliant with Brazilian national standards ( NR Norma Regulamentadora, NR-12 “Safety of Machinery”). In 2003, the Chinese government introduced the compulsory certification of CCC, namely (China Compulsory Certificate), for some of the designated products. In this case, the machine manufacturer needs to ensure that the equipment complies with China’s national standards (ie GB standards), and also needs to check whether the relevant components have obtained CCC certification. Therefore, for a global company, there is a need to find a balance between efficiency and legal compliance.
The development of standards takes a lot of time and effort. The following figure shows a general process specified by a standard:
Ideally, it would take three years from proposal to publication of a new ISO/IEC standard.
Standardization Expert: Security Ambassador from Germany
As a “safety ambassador”, Pilz has decades of experience with current standards and is happy to take on this responsibility for its customers. Pilz has established 42 subsidiaries and 17 sales partners worldwide, and can provide localized support as an independent partner when implementing normative regulations in various countries. Pilz experts are active in nearly 80 standards committees around the world, leading or participating in the formulation of about 100 product and application standards, which allows us to always grasp the latest trends and knowledge. This knowledge is also reflected in Pilz’s global in service and training courses. In the absence of official standards, Pilz works with users, associations, authorities and research institutes to develop applicable safety standards.
“After Brexit, more and more customers are asking us to help them meet the requirements of the UK’s new national accreditation UKCA,” said Arndt Christ, International Vice President of Customer Support. “Together with Pilz UK, we can act as a national representative to provide users with full support in the process of achieving UKCA compliance and in the event of problems with local market surveillance authorities”. Users can choose the support they need according to their actual needs, ranging from risk assessment, drafting security concepts and international compliance assessment services. For this purpose, Pilz usually assembles an international team of experts consisting of the customer’s domestic partners, Pilz technical experts and, where applicable, international project managers. The team will help users achieve an “ideal scenario”: machines that can be put into service in the target country and comply with the required compliance assessment procedures as well as locally valid national standards.
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