A fault condition in machinery or equipment will often threaten the operator and/or other people in the immediate vicinity, not to mention capital investment and future productivity. It’s essential therefore to provide a clear, intuitive and fool proof means to bring about a rapid and safe ‘stop’ condition that minimises risk when things go wrong. Top of the list is the provision of an emergency switch, operation of which will ensure prompt and reliable disconnection of power and in some cases, the application of a braking mechanism. These emergency stop (E-Stop) devices provide an electro/mechanical means for a human to apply a single action to bring the equipment to a safe condition. Machines and equipment covered by the Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC) must be equipped with at least one E-Stop actuator with the proven ability to prevent an imminent or occurring hazard. DIN EN 13850 also specifies that contact separation must be a direct result of a movement of the operating part and must not depend on a spring. For identification purposes, each positive opening contact on an E-Stop must be marked with a right-pointing arrow symbol. An E-Stop is required on most equipment and machinery regardless of the type of energy used to control the function, apart from machines for which the inclusion of an E-Stop would do nothing to lessen risk.
Read the full article in the March issue of PBSI.
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