EN 954-1: 1996 – Five Years Of Cessation

By J.B. Titus February 22, 2010
EN ISO 13849-1: 2006 was approved on or about October 2006 and simultaneously it was announced that EN 954-1: 1996 would cease to be an active standard at the end of 2008. Effectively this provided a two year period for industry (primarily in Europe) to transition to the new and incremental requirements of EN ISO 13849-1: 2006 for conformance to the Machinery Directive. Since then, the cessation of EN 954-1: 1996 has been extended twice and is currently scheduled for December of 2011. Why?

What could possibly be so difficult in Europe for industry to convert from one standard to another? I’ve been looking into this issue for the past several months and I’m coming to the opinion that the difficulty might relate to the “Rogers Innovation Adoption Curve” theory. Perhaps, Europe is stuck in the “Scary Chasm” that Geoffrey A. Moore goes on to explain about Rogers’ theory in his book, “Crossing the Chasm” in 1991. It seems that the “Innovators” and “Early Adopters” comprising 15% of the market are motivated by technology, performance, and visionary instincts. On the other side of The Chasm is the 85% of the market and they are motivated by solutions, convenience, and pragmatic instincts. So, as the lessons learned in Europe might provide for the incubation of innovative techniques here in the US, might we be well served developing tools, education, and solutions for our industry so as to ease the transitional pain and bridge the “Scary Chasm”?

You see, adopting the new EN ISO 13849-1: 2006 includes both “new requirements” and simultaneously “incremental practices” within your company. Therefore, it’s my opinion that the incremental practices could be causing the delay of adoption in Europe. The approach for machine safety in EN 954-1: 1996 is qualitative and in EN ISO 13849-1: 2006 the approach is quantitative with validation.

We have two more years until December 2011 to bridge the “Scary Chasm”.

Additional related information can be found:

https://siemens.webex.com – US Machine Safety Impacted by European Standards, JB Titus

http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers&discussionID=10399199&gid=1950912&commentID=10092116&trk=view_disc

http://www.controleng.com/article/443069-European_safety_deadline_extended_but_don_t_wait_Rockwell_Automation.php

For more on Machine Safety visit: www.jbtitus.com

Posted by J.B. Titus on January 22, 2010