Changes in 2016 alter requirements, new tool helps companies meet them efficiently.
In 2016, new EU directives became part of national legislation, changing several aspects for panel builders and machinery manufacturers. It requires comprehensive risk analysis, including detailed documentation, which impacts a wide range of these business decisions.
Mandatory harmonization became effective across Europe on April 20, 2016, with the signing of the New Legislative Framework (NLF). Eight EU directives were transformed into the national legislation of the EU countries. For example, the Low Voltage Directive (2014/35/EU) and the EMC Directive (2014/30/EU) are key factors to the design of industrial control panels. Equipment manufacturers now have to ensure that compliance to these directives does not become a major problem.
The most important change to the previous EU declaration of conformity and CE marking, in this context, affects risk analysis and risk evaluation, which now have to be carried out and documented for every product in the control panel in a clear, understandable manner. This point requires the support of equipment manufacturers if the task is to be performed reliably. Siemens industrial controls already meet these requirements by supplying the corresponding information, documents and certifications.
Saving time on risk analysis
In practice, many standards do not state precise rules regarding the performance of risk analysis. That is why Siemens recommends following the Cenelec Guide 32, which is available in English and French.
The guide contains suggestions for systematic risk analysis. Annex D, for example, features a table listing the risks associated with manufacturing a control panel. This checklist can be used to assess what risks can arise with a specific control panel and what measures can be taken to counter such risks. Many risks can be managed during the configuration process by selecting appropriate devices. With this in mind, Siemens has modified its product data to provide all necessary details to simplify the process.
Another change to the previous declaration of conformity and CE marking is the required safety information documents are to be provided “in language that can be easily understood.” Additionally, panel builders have to ensure that each product has a single declaration of conformity that satisfies all relevant directives.
From the point of view of the panel builder, the risks that have to be considered include protection against electric shock, mechanical hazards, fire protection, as well as a number of other elements. Rises in temperature due to power dissipation and the influences of electromagnetic compatibility are examples of the broad nature of risk analysis that now make it a key aspect of standard compliant control panel design.
Equipment manufacturers like Siemens are now supporting their customers to compensate the extra workload in product selection and documentation brought about by the new standards. Datasheets, software tools and technical support along with seminars and training courses boost the efficiency of the entire engineering process. As a result, it is easier and faster to install standard-compliant control panels.
Convenient heat calculation for the control panel
Since the end of the transition period from IEC 60439 to IEC 61439-1, new provisions have applied to the temperature rise limits of switchgear and control gear assemblies. Although it is possible to calculate thermal loads, the procedure involves a great deal of work so it is often only estimated. New tools give customers a different way.
At Hannover Messe 2016, Siemens, the electrical equipment manufacturer, presented its free software tool, ”SIMARIS therm,” which stores tested and maximal dissipated power losses from over 25,000 products. The program permits convenient calculation of the temperature rise in housings and equipment from Siemens as well as from other manufacturers.
At the end of this procedure, a certificate is issued as verification of the temperature rise calculation in compliance with IEC 61439-1. Put briefly, the user receives the printouts required to satisfy the requirements of the risk analysis in just four steps.
The same applies to electromagnetic compatibility. Siemens is preparing an EMC guide which compiles practical tips and recommendations for assembling an EMC-compliant control panel. A lot of know-how is required to comply with the new EMC directive, so Siemens is passing its expertise on to its customers.
Software tool for simple, clearly structured documentation
After risk analysis and selection of standard-compliant products in the control panel, the last major step is the comprehensive documentation demanded by the European Low Voltage Directive. The Siemens Industry Online Support Portal (SIOS) provides a web-based software tool for creating individual documentation that eases the workload of electrical engineering firms.
The requirement that content written in easily understood language extends to languages. Siemens web-based software tool allows users to switch languages at the press of a button. Consequently, an individual manual including operating instructions, risk analysis and certifications can be published in several languages with little effort. Additionally, users receive an update if a new version of the manual documentation they are using appears.
The technical information usually comes from the CAx Download Manager, a tool that provides all technically relevant data on Siemens products. This includes dimensions, performance data, curves and certificates as well as images, CAD drawings and more.
The change to the EU directives around risk analysis is the most significant change compared to the previous EU declaration of conformity and CE marking. Documentation has also taken on greater importance with the transposition of eight new EU directives into national legislation. The focus shifts depending on whether documents are intended for internal documentation (upon request by national authorities) or external documentation (documents required by the machine operator to ensure safe operation).Have an Inquiry for Siemens about this article? Click Here >>