Machine Safety Inspections, Upgrades & Diagnostics

ESA are fluent in safety when it comes to existing processes or newly created machinery.

The rules, regulations and laws of the land are constantly changing to an ever changing world and environment. At Engineering Solutions & Automation Ltd we constantly adapt to meet with these changes with ongoing training to our team, keeping them constantly abreast of these changes and there requirements.

Below is an excerpt from the HSE.GOV.UK guidelines, these state the requirements/method that a company is required to undertake when assessing their machinery for safety and good working order; as an existing installed or recently purchased machinery or plant equipment…

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

These Regulations, often abbreviated to PUWER, place duties on people and companies who own, operate or have control over work equipment. PUWER also places responsibilities on businesses and organisations whose employees use work equipment, whether owned by them or not.

PUWER requires that equipment provided for use at work is:

  • suitable for the intended use
  • safe for use, maintained in a safe condition and inspected to ensure it is correctly installed and does not subsequently deteriorate
  • used only by people who have received adequate information, instruction and training
  • accompanied by suitable health and safety measures, such as protective devices and controls. These will normally include emergency stop devices, adequate means of isolation from sources of energy, clearly visible markings and warning devices
  • used in accordance with specific requirements, for mobile work equipment and power presses

What you must do

If your business or organisation uses work equipment or is involved in providing work equipment for others to use (lease hire), you must manage the risks from that equipment.

This means you must:

  • ensure the equipment is constructed or adapted to be suitable for the purpose it is used or provided for
  • take account of the working conditions and health and safety risks in the workplace when selecting work equipment
  • ensure work equipment is only used for suitable purposes
  • ensure work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair
  • where a machine has a maintenance log, keep this up to date
  • where the safety of work equipment depends on the manner of installation, it must be inspected after installation and before being put into use
  • where work equipment is exposed to deteriorating conditions liable to result in dangerous situations, it must be inspected to ensure faults are detected in good time so the risk to health and safety is managed
  • warning2ensure that all people using, supervising or managing the use of work equipment are provided with adequate, clear health and safety information. This will include, where necessary, written instructions on its use and suitable equipment markings and warnings
  • ensure that all people who use, supervise or manage the use of work equipment have received adequate training, which should include the correct use of the equipment, the risks that may arise from its use and the precautions to take
  • where the use of work equipment is likely to involve a specific risk to health and safety (eg woodworking machinery[4]), ensure that the use of the equipment is restricted to those people trained and appointed to use it
  • take effective measures to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery. This will normally be by fixed guarding but where routine access is needed, interlocked guards (sometimes with guard locking) may be needed to stop the movement of dangerous parts before a person can reach the danger zone. Where this is not possible – such as with the blade of a circular saw – it must be protected as far as possible and a safe system of work used. These protective measures should follow the hierarchy laid down in PUWER regulation 11(2) and the PUWER Approved Code of Practice and guidance[5] or, for woodworking machinery, the Safe use of woodworking machinery: Approved Code of Practice and guidance[6]
  • take measures to prevent or control the risks to people from parts and substances falling or being ejected from work equipment, or the rupture or disintegration of work equipment
  • ensure that the risks from very hot or cold temperatures from the work equipment or the material being processed or used are managed to prevent injury
  • ensure that work equipment is provided with appropriately identified controls for starting, stopping and controlling it, and that these control systems are safe
  • warning1where appropriate, provide suitable means of isolating work equipment[7] from all power sources (including electric, hydraulic, pneumatic and gravitational energy)
  • ensure work equipment is stabilised by clamping or otherwise to avoid injury
  • take appropriate measures to ensure maintenance[8] operations on work equipment can be carried out safely while the equipment is shut down, without exposing people undertaking maintenance operations to risks to their health and safety

We at Engineering Solutions and Automation can take the stress out of having to facilitate the above checks and apply improvements where necessary. Our skilled engineers can provide a comprehensive safety assessment; develop a solutions package and action the required works to comply with the PUWER regulations.

For further information...

Call ESA on 0151 480 1155, email

When providing new work equipment for use at work, you must ensure it conforms to the essential requirements of European Community law (for new machinery this means the Machinery Directive).

You must check it:

But why do I need to have a CE Mark and what is it?

The letters ‘CE’ appear on many products that are traded on the single market in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Products that are sold within the EEA, or imported from outside the EEA are required under consumer law to carry a valid CE Mark. Without this the product cannot be certified as fit for use and must not be sold within the EEA as they cannot be checked against complying with EU safety, health and environmental checks.

CE marking applies to products, ranging from electrical equipment to toys and from civil explosives to medical devices. The full list of these mandatory product categories is below:

  • active implantable medical devices
  • appliances burning gaseous fuels
  • cableway installations designed to carry persons
  • eco-design of energy related products
  • electromagnetic compatibility
  • equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres
  • explosives for civil uses
  • hot-water boilers
  • household refrigerators and freezers
  • in vitro diagnostic medical devices
  • lifts
  • low voltage
  • machinery
  • measuring instruments
  • medical devices
  • noise emission in the environment
  • non-automatic weighing instruments
  • personal protective equipment
  • pressure equipment
  • pyrotechnics
  • radio and telecommunications terminal equipment
  • recreational craft
  • safety of toys
  • simple pressure vessels

You can download the EC New Approach Directives guidance (PDF, 725KB) from the Europa website.

We at ESA also can offer to facilitate the required documents and checks and issue a technical file, Declaration of Conformity (DoC) certificate or your product(s) so you can proudly display the CE Mark.

Note, by placing the CE marking on a product a manufacturer is declaring, on his sole responsibility, conformity with all of the legal requirements to achieve CE marking. The manufacturer is thus ensuring validity for that product to be sold throughout the EEA.

For further information...

Call ESA on 0151 480 1155, email

“Our team can identify the potential hazards and risks for you, assess these into the relevant categories and sub-elements and action improvements where necessary”

Door BufferConsider ….

A loading mechanism for transferring sling/stillage onto a slow moving buffered area.

We assessed the existing arrangement, hazards and safety. The manufacturer of the new loading mechanism needed to have their design assessed to identify how the hazards may have changed and whether the existing equipment safety checks were adequate in the first place.

The detailed hazard and risk assessment produced included the MRA (Machinery Risk Assessment), RRA (Residual Risk Assessment) all part of the new harmonised risk/safety standard BS EN ISO 12100 (This replaces BS EN 14121-1).

This standard details not only the hazards, but type of risk assessment, as well as the equipment and occupational safety checks.

We apply the same techniques to the new design where the pneumatic transfer method has been replaced by an motorised version.

The system process can now be classified with a new Performance level and measures stated for risk reduction, by means of reduced exposure, additional guarding, zone monitoring, etc.

The main hazards identified in this assessment identified the need for audible warnings due to automatic start-up operations, and the hazards of automatic sling movements in and around the loading area. The need for additional hazard warning signage, floor safety monitoring with the use of floor scanners and more localised emergency stop points. All the hazards were defined and detailed so that the overall performance could be assigned.



S – Severity of injury

S1         Slight (normally reversible) injury

S2         Serious (normally irreversible injury including death)

F – Frequency and/or exposure time to the hazard

F1         Seldom to less often and/or the exposure time is short

F2         Frequent to continuous and/or the exposure time is long

P – Possibility of avoiding the hazard

P1         Possible under specific conditions

P2         Scarcely possible

sistemaWith a final assessment of all the hazards and risks then the process can be classified using the above table. At ESA we use the popular tool SISTEMA to make sure that all safety related parts of an control system are adequate for the machine/process classification and the MTBF calculations will guarantee correct their safe operation for life cycle of 20 years.

Upgrades, Diagnostics and Process Improvements

Every machine or process at some point in its life cycle will require a change, a modification to suit new tooling or the chemical combination or a change to the method of attaching a sub-assembly and finally, even to speed up the process.

We are able to identify an appropiate solution method and produce an FDS (functional design specification) for any of our projects that require some level of control. In doing so we can apply good manufacturing practices and always ensure quality to our designs and end product.

Consider ….

This upgrade of manual process actioned in nearby station with a Robotic Solution

2014-04-16 13.16.07The client issued an RFQ detailing the requirements for the changes to the station. These included making the station fully automatic with automatic bearing loading, gear meshing and synchro assembly clamp removal.

All these new functions would mean that the automation could be increase the station operation cycle more than 31 seconds.

To achieve all these functions a robot from ABB IRB1600 Robot was selected for the required function with a unique multi-purpose gripper to operate on the following:

  • The synchro assembly clamp was required to be removed automatically from the Input shaft assembly and located onto pallet park position.
  • The 6th speed gear also was required to be picked up automatically and loaded onto the Input shaft assembly. The gear splines must be mated to the clutch ring splines to ensure the part is located in the home position.
  • IMG_0772Automatically pick and load the bearings into the stations press tooling.
  • The assembly lines pallet were altered to allow for the placing of the bearing stack for automatic pickup by the robot at this station
  • The ability to override the automatic process and return to the manual operation of station was included with the solution as a backup option.

As in every automation project, we were altering the hazards to the existing station, the station had guarding around three side and light guarded access to the front for the operator to load parts and remove unwanted clamps. By adding a robotic solution shown below the whole process had to be risk assessed and new perimeter guarding devised. The new hazard also meant the existing light guard had to be repositioned.

In allowing station to be returned to manual for operator loading, the robot had to be made safe and have its position constantly monitored (parked) by using a series of toothed access point switches.

cell layout
IMG_0365The automation techniques adopted for this project meant we were able to considerably reduce the cycle time for the station. Through a series of process improvement checks and FMEA studies we devised that a multi-purpose gripper could minimise the need additional tooling and make the process run smoother by reducing the amount of robotic arm movement which in turn kept cycle time to minimum.

Due to profiled guarded area the robot transferred the bearings stack onto separate receptacles on a presenting arm which placed the bearings into magnetic holders for pressing onto the gearing shafts.

Our engineering team has years of experience in tackling varying project sizes covering many different industries. We are able to diagnose faults, suggest improvements for key bottle-neck areas in the production process, as we talk lean manufacturing and are experts in implementing Kaizen and 5S techniques for all types of industry.

EOAT & arm orientation 2

…. Ask us on how we can improve or upgrade your machine or process

For further information...

Call ESA on 0151 480 1155, email