Packaging Safety Keeps Pace with Manufacturing Operations

DN Staff

July 8, 2009

2 Min Read
Packaging Safety Keeps Pace with Manufacturing Operations

While machine buildersintroduce automation and motion to meet more flexible packaging needs, safetybecomes an overriding critical issue.

Today's packaging operationsare expanding at break-neck pace to address a diverse and demanding universe ofapplications. Even as the applications proliferate, competition among globalplayers requires ever shorter development cycles that in turn demand greaterflexibility from packaging equipment suppliers. Yet, while marketplace dynamicssqueeze packaging equipment suppliers, the paramount concern still must remaina singular focus on operator safety. One standard, B155.1 (see sidebar below),addresses workplace safety issues and compliance ensures that machine suppliersoffer packaging equipment in tune with today's marketplace.

Machine suppliers must alsopossess a thorough understanding of risk and its ramifications in packagingoperations. Adequate safeguards that anticipate integration in automatedenvironments must be inherent in design and build decisions, yet cost muststill be contained. Orchestrating safety, engineering excellence, and cost willminimize risk. When properly balanced the packaging equipment will be ready forOSHA compliance, insurance company requirements, union leaders, or safetycommittees with full documentation.

Engineering firms that supplypackaging equipment must have legacy knowledge in sensor technology, controland communication, motion control, operation and monitoring, software, training,and support. At the same time their experience must encompass plant assessment,risk assessment, safety concepts, inspection of electro sensitive equipment,system implementation, safety validation, international certification and CEmarking. Since all these technologies and concepts interact, a holistic approachthat blends components and systems with packaging operations will satisfy eachunique packaging challenge with an appropriate solution.

To meet automation, motioncontrol, and safety goals while offering flexible solutions, packagingequipment should reflect a deep engineering knowledge along with a commitmentto established safety standards. Then inspired development will protect man,the machine, and the environment.


This standard is approved byANSI and is harmonized to other recognizable standards such as ISO 12100 andISO 14121. It addresses safety requirements for packaging machinery andpackaging related converting machinery.

The standard sets minimumrequirements on several important issues relating to packaging machinerysafety. It defines specific safety areas such as: responsibilities;requirements for design, contruction, installation, operation, and maintenanceof the machinery; risk assessment on packaging equipment; safeguarding ofpackaging equipment; running the packaging equipment; training on the packagingequipment; and personal protective equipment.

Pilz certified safetyconsultants can provide conformance analysis to the B155.1 packaging equipmentstandard. After performing risk assessment, Pilz engineering will recommendpractical safeguarding solutions to ensure that safety and production become anintegrated process. Then the consultant group will design, build, and installrecommended safeguards and control measures with a final safety signoff tocertify compliance with the B155.1 standard. Learn more about the Pilz range ofconsulting and training services at

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