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A technical guide to functional safety has been published by ABB.

Available as a PDF document, the guide outlines what the EU Machinery Directive means for machine builders, explains the practical steps required for compliance and describes the applicable standards, background and theory.

A major development introduced with the Machinery Directive is that variable speed drives can now be used in safety systems.

The document details how drives can help make machinery more cost effective and user friendly while maintaining a high level of safety.

The EU Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC applies to any new machinery launched after 29 December 2009.

It requires machine builders to carry out a documented risk assessment on the essential health and safety requirements relating to their product.

This is necessary to obtain the CE mark, a mandatory conformity mark on machinery and many other products placed on the single market.

Machine parts or incomplete machines must be supplied with a declaration of incorporation defining which requirements of the directive apply and have been complied with.

Machine builders can carry out self-certification without a recognised test centre, provided that they have a quality assurance procedure according to the directive.

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