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ISO/TR 22053 (2021) Safety of machinery

ISO/TR 22053 (2021)

Safety of machinery - Safeguarding supportive systems

ISO/TR 22053 Safety of machinery – Safeguarding supportive systems (SSS) was published in February 2021. It is not a standard or norm but a technical specification. Technical reports tend to focus on data from an information report, or information about the perceived “state of the art”. This Technical Report or TR has been prepared as an addition to ISO11161 – Safety of machinery – Integrated manufacturing systems.

ISO/TR 22053 (2021)

Safeguarding supportive systems

Is a safeguarding supportive system (SSS) part of machine safety or part of security? That is an interesting question because it is primarily about authenticating and authorising personnel to use certain safety functions. The safety features and functions will always work, regardless of whether the safeguarding supportive system is used or not.

Why is there a need for a safeguarding supportive system? ISO/TR 22052 refers to the need to both control access to secure areas and ensure that the right person is performing the tasks they are authorised to do. In layman’s terms, it is about ensuring that the right person is doing the right tasks, or to put it as a question – Do you want machine operators to be able to perform tasks they are not trained to do?

A safeguarding supportive system is defined as an additional risk reduction/protection measure to enable mode selection by means of authentication.

The SSS identifies personnel who are authorised to perform tasks and enables mode selection based on authorisation. It can, for example, enable safety functions such as resetting or releasing safety device locks (such as safety interlocks) by interfacing with the safety-related part of the control system. In this case, personnel can select a reset function by showing their identification or request access to the secured area if the system recognises their authorisation.

The identification of authorised personnel can be as simple as a key or a personal RFID tag, or it can be a biometric feature such as a retina or fingerprint scan. The key point is that the SSS can recognise and validate input, ensuring that the authorised person can only perform tasks that match their skills or authorisation level.

The SSS can be used to control access to the safeguarded area. The tasks to be controlled may include adjustment, setting, troubleshooting based on the operating modes of the integrated manufacturing system.

Although ISO/TR22053 is primarily intended for the design of systems to support the safety functions associated with the IMS, it is also useful for protecting machine processes by preventing unauthorised stopping and starting. At first glance, an SSS may be thought to be a complex electronic system, but it is possible to design a system with simple buttons.

It remains to be seen whether this technical report will find its way into the latest revision of ISO11161, but there is no doubt that it will become an important document as mode selection, which is common in machine tool and robotics standards, becomes more widely adopted.

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