EVOLUTION OF EUROPEAN PRODUCT DIRECTIVES IN PERSPECTIVE OF INDUSTRY 4.0
Free (open access)
163 - 168
SARA ANASTASI, LUIGI MONICA
Many observers believe that Europe is at the beginning of a new industrial revolution, considered to be the fourth such leap forward and hence labelled Industry 4.0. The ubiquitous use of sensors, the expansion of wireless communication and networks, the deployment of increasingly intelligent robots and machines – as well as increased computing power at lower cost and the development of ‘big data’ analytics – has the potential to transform the way products are manufactured in Europe, with a widely impact on the framework of the European products directives. In fact, for example, the currently industrial automation is a consolidated reality, with approximately 90% of machines in factories being unconnected. Today the Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs) of the machine directive mean that isolated and static systems safety can be comfortably assessed. The Industry 4.0s smart factories will add a new dimension of complexity in terms of the challenges machinery safety and in this new context the European legislation have to move to innovative EHSRs to guarantee safety levels at least equivalent with these current achieved. This work presents the evolution of European product directive, in particular the machine directive, in the new vision of industry 4.0.
industry 4.0, safety, machinery directive