Safety Classifications

For many machines, cranes, and vehicles, safety classification PL d (and even the lower level PL c) may be sufficient. Except for some transmitter/receiver combinations, Scanreco transmitters and receivers, are all PL d or PL e classified. The exceptions are combinations where the safety classification is not as important (a warehouse door perhaps, as opposed to manoeuvring a giant autonomous agriculture machine with a radio remote control).

What does PL x and SIL x mean?

There are two different safety classification systems governed by two different organizations:

  • International Standard Organization (ISO) and
  • International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC).

They follow the similar criteria but use different gradings. Easily explained:

PL – Performance Level (by ISO)

Ranges from PL a (lowest) to PL e (highest)

Covers safety related parts of machine control systems (electric, hydraulic, pneumatic and programmable) and lies under ISO 13849. It covers both function and design related issues.

SIL – Safety Integrity Level (by IEC)

Ranges from SIL 1 (lowest) to SIL 4 (highest)

Covers functional safety of electronic safety related systems and lies under IEC 61508. It does not specify exact design criteria but focuses on safety functions and the product’s life cycle.

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