Evaluating performance levels of machine control functions

Marita Hietikko, Timo Malm, Jarmo Alanen, Heikki Saha

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific


According to the basic machinery safety standard ISO 13849-1, the capability of a machine control system to perform a safety function is expressed using performance levels (PL). This paper brings out some challenges in the process of evaluating performance levels for safety related machine control functions. One of these examines the use of different cabling schemes in the implementation of a safety function and its effect on the PL evaluation. The challenges are highlighted using a generic example of a safety function relating to a mobile work machine where different technologies (electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic) can be utilized. A safety stop function with different structures was used as an example in PL calculations. Analogue cables in mobile work machines can cause a remarkable risk, since they are vulnerable to disturbances and failures. A part of these failures may be difficult to detect. In this study it was detected that by replacing analogue cabling with digital communications the reachable PL can be increased.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th International Conference on the Safety of Industrial Automated Systems
Subtitle of host publicationSIAS 2012
Place of PublicationMontreal
ISBN (Print)978-2-89631-635-9
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings
Event7th International Conference on the Safety of Industrial Automated Systems, SIAS 2012 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 11 Oct 201212 Oct 2012


Conference7th International Conference on the Safety of Industrial Automated Systems, SIAS 2012
Abbreviated titleSIAS 2012


  • Machines
  • control function
  • safety

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