How is the safety of machines and systems guaranteed? By using devices which are specially developed to provide protection against hazards in machines and systems. However, safety devices alone will not suffice: they also have to be used correctly. And not just when it comes to their configuration or programming. Safe operation is crucial at a much earlier stage: right at the start of the project. In order to guarantee safe and seamless processes, we need reliable sensors and systems. Even the quality assurance systems that accompany the development and implementation of safety concepts have to be reliable and transparent.
As a supplier of devices within the machine and system safety sector, SICK recognized early on that it not only needs to provide high-quality products on a sustainable basis, it also needs a quality assurance system for developing and producing safety components. The same also applies for the development and implementation of safety concepts for machines and systems. As a service provider and partner to manufacturers, system integrators, and operators of machines and systems, SICK has developed a system that guarantees the reliable, verifiable, and transparent delivery of safety services across the entire development and implementation process. And that is not all: the approach to securing the required qualifications for processes and documentation has already been officially certified.
Expert services with safety guaranteed
SICK offers a comprehensive portfolio of services. This ranges from risk assessment, to the preparation of generic safety concepts, through to the specific selection of components, their integration into the system, and programming/configuration. To prove that such measures also meet requirements, SICK safety experts validate the protective functions and support the conformity assessment for the machine/system. Whether for construction, renovation, or linking machines and systems, SICK’s services take the strain off customers’ internal resources, and enable them to handle more projects in the same time period: ultimately achieving their goals faster and with added safety. SICK’s experts have – and can demonstrate – the necessary qualifications, and are always up to date in terms of technological developments, the applicable standards and regulations, and the activities of associations and committees in the field of machine and system safety. These qualifications are regularly checked and documented.
The seal of quality
So that users know straight away that the development and documentation of the high demands of SICK’s quality management system are sufficient, the documents produced during development and implementation bear the VERIFIED SAFETY quality seal. This stands for:
• Safety – functional and legally secure
• Reliability – sustainable assurance of processes and competences
• Traceability – fully documented from start to finish
• Transparency – globally uniform, accessible at all times
In this way, each user can immediately see that the documents meet the requirements for technical documentation, and that results will be reliable and traceable from the customer right through to the machine operator. SICK archives all documents, and using the VERIFIED SAFETY number, all documents can be retrieved at the touch of a button.
Safety at all levels
The quality assurance system from SICK offers safety at all levels. Primarily, defined processes and competency management are used to guarantee that risk minimization requirements are met. At the same time, however, the system also offers legal security in that it integrates and demonstrably meets legal requirements. Furthermore, standards are set using a globally uniform approach: Whether in China, the USA, Italy or any other country in which SICK operates, the documentation of results is carried out in a globally uniform manner, and, of course, with regard to the respective applicable standards and regulations in each case. Particularly in companies that operate on a global scale, this produces comparable results and a uniform overview – and not just internally. Generally speaking, multiple contractors and subcontractors tend to be involved in fitting out manufacturing plants. It is ideal if everyone is on the same page.
Projects under control, right from the word go
All management systems used for projects at SICK follow the same standard and consistent management philosophy. Regardless of whether it is an internal development project or a project for a customer, all projects follow a defined process from acquisition through to customer approval. Regular checks against milestones guarantee completeness, reveal any deviations early on, and enable corrective measures to be introduced promptly. Professional and standardized project management is the basis for successful planning, economic implementation, and precise control of projects. Proper management of risks, compliance with cost objectives, and prompt delivery ultimately guarantee the greatest possible level of customer satisfaction.
An integral component of customer project management
The VERIFIED SAFETY quality assurance system forms part of the comprehensive customer project management process and is applied as standard at all SICK locations. Projects such as the retrofitting of protective measures can therefore be carried out at 16 production plants in 14 countries to the same standard as a retrofitting on a single production line in a single country.
The VERIFIED SAFETY process stretches beyond the boundaries of SICK: in many cases, customers prefer local suppliers when it comes to providing control cabinets and installing the devices. If desired, SICK can integrate these partners – or even the customers themselves – into the process chain. In this way, quality assurance remains consistent, comprehensible, and transparent right through to the project’s completion.
Certified in accordance with Annex X of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC
In the context of comprehensive quality assurance in accordance with Annex X of the Machinery Directive, the components of VERIFIED SAFETY (sustainable competence assurance, consistent processes, full and standardized documentation) were checked and certified by the Institute for Occupational Health and Safety of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA). The customer can therefore be sure of the quality of processes and documents. Furthermore, SICK is now officially entitled to carry out EC conformity tests for prefabricated safety systems.
VERIFIED SAFETY from SICK: the quality seal it is safe to trust
The VERIFIED SAFETY quality seal represents uniform and consistently high quality of working methods and processes. In this way, users can immediately tell that the documents meet SICK’s high quality requirements, resulting in safe, functional, and legally secure working results. This builds trust, and makes SICK a partner to be counted on.
safetyPLUS® – Safe machinery and more
safetyPLUS® is the range of machine safety products and services provided by SICK for the protection of people and investments. The PLUS means comprehensive, individual support for our customers regarding the functional safety of their machines and systems. Comprehensive means optimum support from development of the machine through to the commissioning and use, all the way to retrofitting and modernizing – all over the world. In a bid to meet our customers’ requirements for legal compliance and reliable production:
- We provide safety products and systems, services, training, and tools.
- We share our knowledge through personal consultancy services as well as publishing information online.
- We have developed safety tools to make the engineering process even easier.
- We offer functionality to support production efficiency.