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. Download the PDFs.

  • Machine Safety In Automation

    DesignWorld Motion Design Guide [more]

    In this exclusive Design Guide, the editors of Design World review the approaches needed to fully assess a machine’s required level of safety; the components needed for safe installations; and the proper integration of such components in individual machines and workcells. The role of controls and leading standards (for markets and general automation)are also covered. 27 pages. Content sponsored by Schmersal USA.

    Download the guide

  • Sanitary And Hygienic Design Standards

    An overview of US and Canadian standards for food industry [more]

    Hygiene and sanitation are key issues in the food processing industry to prevent food borne illnesses. It influences the design of machines used in areas that need to be constantly cleaned. It is important when selecting safety devices or command devices for food processing machines that they meet hygienic or sanitary standards.

    Download the article

  • Building A Machine Safety Mindset

    The executive summary from our webinar [more]

    Many individuals involved in machine safety design rely on their understanding of “what is safe” when designing or upgrading an industrial machine. This can lead to inconsistent machine safety methodologies amongst EHS, Engineering design, and maintenance professionals in a workplace. This executive summary of our recent webinar discusses the steps of building a machine safety mindset to achieve a more uniform company machine guarding and safety methodology.

    Download the summary

    View the webinar (1 hour)

  • Challenges In Machine Safeguarding

    The executive summary from our webinar [more]

    Companies understand that employee safety is critical. No business wants its workers to get injured. Despite this understanding, companies still seem to come up with numerous reasons why they can’t implement the very machine safeguarding solutions that would keep their employees safe. The challenges to machine safeguarding are significant, but these challenges can be overcome with proper education, good risk assessments, and solutions that are developed and implemented to meet the specific business need.

    Download the summary

    View the webinar (1 hour)

  • FAQ - How To Safeguard Your Robots and Robot Cells

    Questions and answers on robot safeguarding [more]

    More and more robots are being introduced and utilized for industrial automation. From the traditional industrial robot to modern technology with collaborative robots, challenges arise to have people work safely on robots and in or around robot cells. Learn more about how to properly safeguard robots and robot cells in this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

    Download the article

  • The Effect Of Industry 4.0

    Efficiently Increase Production While Improving Safety [more]

    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 Industry 4.0 and the path taken to arrive at this groundbreaking transformation of the modern industrial factory.


    Download the article

  • The Future Of The Industrial Robot

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

    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.


    Download the article

  • Food Safety Modernization Act (USA)

    Equipment and Control Designs for FSMA [more]

    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 [more]

    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.


    Download the article here

  • Fault Masking

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

    "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.


    Download the article

  • 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. [more]

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

  • Locking Devices for Machine Safeguarding

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

    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.

  • 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. [more]

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

  • Safeguarding 101

    This article looks at OSHA regulations and relevant consensus standards [more]

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

  • 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. [more]

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

  • Principles for Design and Selection of Interlocking Devices

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

    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.


  • Safety Controller Selection Guidelines

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

    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.

    Download the article

  • Machine Safety Terminology

    A glossary of common machine guarding terms defined. [more]

  • Light Curtain Terminology

    A glossary of common terms related to Safety Light Curtains.

  • 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.   Download the article   [more]

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


    Download the article


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 18,000 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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