Technical articles

We offer a selection of technical articles dealing with the safety of machines and plants - both in general and on particular aspects of product families for machine safety. Some of the contributions are from Schmersal employees, others are written by independent specialists, e.g. from industrial assessment organisations. The applicable PDF file can be stored on your computer by means of the download function.

  • The Effect Of Industry 4.0

    Efficiently Increase Production While Improving Safety

    We are in the midst of the 4th Industrial Revolution which aims to combine cutting edge technology with rigorous safety requirements. This article discusses the goals of what is known as Industry 4.0 and the path taken to arrive at this groundbreaking transformation of the modern industrial factory.


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  • The Future Of The Industrial Robot

    What the acceptance of inherently safe Collaborative Robots means for the traditional Industrial Robot

    Robots which work “hand in hand” with humans have now found their place safely on to the factory floor. This article discusses the growing acceptance of these collaborative robots, their safety requirements, and how it might affect the use of traditional industrial robots.


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  • Food Safety Modernization Act (USA)

    Equipment and Control Designs for FSMA

    The new Food Safety Modernization Act legislation demands stricter proactive measures to prevent hazards that could affect food within that facility. One of those measures deals with the hygienic designs of the equipment and controls.

    Download the article here

  • Calculating Safety Distances

    Requirements for the proper placement of safety guards and presence sensing devices

    Applying safeguards to equipment and machines may lead to a false sense of safety if not applied correctly. This paper explores the often overlooked practice of determining the minimum safe distance or height at which a hard guard or protective device should be installed.


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  • Fault Masking

    The article discusses a potential problem with the practice of wiring safety devices in series:

    "Daisy chaining" may mask faults in the system due to accumulation of faults that may compromise safety. It defines the problem and provides several solutions for overcoming it.


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  • Machine Guarding and Lock Out / Tag Out

    This paper provides some insight as to the differences between the two methods of safely controlling hazardous energy.

    It provides the guidelines for when and why to use LO/TO on some tasks and machine guarding on other tasks.

    File attachments:
     LOTO_vs_Safeguard.pdf (656 KB )

  • Locking Devices for Machine Safeguarding

    This paper looks at the principles behind Guard Locking and Process Locking of safety interlocks.

    It provides several examples when to use each method, and describes the locking principles and lock release types defined by the ISO 14119 standard for guard interlock design and selection.

    File attachments:
     Locking_Devices_for_Machine_Safeguards.pdf (407 KB )

  • Efficiency in Machine Safety

    This paper looks at the growing trend of designing safety systems to meet the efficiency requirements of other machine control systems.

    It provides several examples of systems currently being used such as electronic switches and AS-Interface.

    File attachments:
     Whitepaper-_Efficiency_In_Safety.pdf (729 KB )

  • Safeguarding 101

    This article looks at OSHA regulations and relevant consensus standards

    to help you determine what needs to be guarded, to what degree, and what type of devices can be used.

    File attachments:
     Safeguarding_101_article.pdf (484 KB )

  • Emergency Stop Devices: More Than An Off Switch

    Emergency Stop (E-Stop) buttons should be the most identifiable element on a machine and serve a specific function which is universally known.

    But they are often misunderstood and misused. This article explores the requirements for E-Stops.

    File attachments:
     Emergency_Stop_article.pdf (393 KB )

  • Principles for Design and Selection of Interlocking Devices

    A summary of the focal points specified by the new ISO 14119 standard

    which regulates the design and use of interlocking devices and the changes that design engineers in mechanical engineering can expect.

  • Machine Safety Standards

    An introduction to various safety standards that apply to machine safety in the US, Canada, and Europe.

    File attachments:
     Machine_Safety_Standards_GK-1.pdf (41 KB )

  • Safety Controller Selection Guidelines

    Choosing an appropriate safety controller is vital to the safety of the machine.

    Safety controllers increase the reliability of the machine guarding safety system. Some form of a safety controller is required to meet higher risk categories and to meet the requirements for Control Reliability. This article discusses the importance of choosing an appropriate safety controller and highlights several selection criteria.

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  • Machine Safety Terminology

    A glossary of common machine guarding terms defined.

    File attachments:
     Machine_Safety_Terminology.pdf (234 KB )

  • Light Curtain Terminology

    A glossary of common terms related to Safety Light Curtains.

    File attachments:
     Selected_Light_Curtain_Terminology.pdf (66 KB )

  • Tampering: a hot topic of machine safety

    This article uses data from a 2005 BGIA Survey to highlight the causes and solutions to machine guard tampering.

    File attachments:
     Tampering.pdf (238 KB )

Context Column

Fact Sheet

In the demanding field of machine safety the Schmersal Group is one of the international market and competence leaders. Based on more than 25,000 different switching devices the corporate group offers system solutions for the safety of man and machine.

The company is represented by seven manufacturing sites on three continents and with its own subsidiaries and sales partners in more than 60 nations.

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