Even today, safety in the workplace cannot be taken for granted in many parts of the world. However, in more and more countries there is a growing recognition that machinery safety is worth it – for human and machine.
As an ambassador for safety, Pilz plays an active role in many countries – with training, advice for authorities and associations or participation in standards committees, for example. Pilz customers benefit from this expert knowledge: Pilz offers them comprehensive safety services customised to their company’s individual needs throughout the entire machine lifecycle. Pilz subsidiaries in the respective countries support customers with the relevant Declarations of Conformity and ensure access to local markets.
Machinery safety worldwide — So it continues
In Europe too, machinery safety remains an everlasting mission: the EU Machinery Regulation, the successor to the EU Machinery Directive, has just been published. It is adapted to the changed requirements, with a view to Security for example, and provides greater implementation support. So the machinery safety success story will continue.
The new EU Machinery Regulation
The new Machinery Regulation (EU) 2023/1230 was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 29 June 2023. It came into force in all EU member states 20 days after it was published in the Official Journal. Machine manufacturers have 42 months in which to meet the new requirements on plant and machinery. Thus the MR will finally become mandatory in January 2027 (key date regulation).
An overview of the key changes
Particularly hazardous machinery
In Annex I, Part A (previously found in Annex IV of the Machinery Directive), the new Machinery Regulation (EU) 2023/1230 lists six machine categories under “potentially high risk machinery” – including with regard to artificial intelligence – where machine manufacturers can no longer self-declare compliance in conjunction with a harmonised standard, as previously. In future, a notified body must be involved.
However, for machine categories listed in Part B, compliance with the Machinery Regulation can still be declared in combination with a harmonised standard, with the aid of internal production control.
The regulation has been extended to include the definition of a substantial modification of machinery. For machinery safety, a new conformity assessment procedure is always required when a machine undergoes major technical modifications. Chapter 2, Article 18 stipulates that the person who carries out a substantial modification of machinery must fulfil all the obligations of the manufacturer.
Manufacturers are now allowed to supply instructions in digital form. Should the customer request it, the manufacturer is obliged to supply the instructions in paper format (Annex III, 1.7.4). A mandatory mark on the machinery and accompanying documents, indicating how to access the digital instructions, has also been introduced. A digital EU Declaration of Conformity is also permitted. Partly completed machinery may also be delivered with digital assembly instructions and a digital Declaration of Incorporation.
Within the essential health and safety requirements set out in Annex III, the Machinery Regulation places new demands on cybersecurity under 1.1.9, “Protection against corruption”. Cybersecurity threats must not be allowed to compromise the machine’s safety functions. So Industrial Security becomes a mandatory element for machinery safety and is no longer just subject to the interpretation of the person placing the machine on the market. Manufacturers will need to review their existing security concepts in this regard.