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Can you afford not to certify your control system?


Mikael Åkerholm, Rikard Land, Christian Strzyz


A long version was published on the web, with a shorter version in the printed magazine.

Publication Type:



iVT International


Industrial vehicles typically contain heavy moving parts which obviously may harm people if they do not behave as intended, or if they do not properly protect people. At the same time electronic control systems are responsible for more and more of the core functionality in the vehicles, e.g., engine control, braking, and steering; and the functions performed by the vehicles, e.g., buckets, cranes, or drills. Thus, it should be no surprise that legislative and standardization authorities around the world currently increase the pressure on vehicle manufacturers to comply with safety standards for their electronic systems, e.g., the updated EU machinery directive, (EU Directive 2006/42/EC) planned to take legal effect at the end of 2009, the safety standard for earth moving machinery (ISO15998) from 2008, the safety standard for the safety-related parts of machinery (ISO13849) from 2006, the safety standard for programmable electronic control systems in machinery (IEC62061) from 2005, the general standard for safety related electronics (IEC61508) from 2005, and the upcoming safety standard for road vehicles (ISO26262).The whole safety area for electronic control systems may at first seem an insurmountable number of additional requirements to comply with. Nevertheless, there is not really any other choice than to work according to these standards. Even when there are no strict legislative requirements, the market will most certain gradually increase expectations on products to be certified according to the relevant safety standards, and it will be a competitive advantage to do so. Furthermore, among other advantages, following established safety standards may be the lifesaver in case of a lawsuit. And, in the end, it must not be forgotten that these requirements have been formulated in order to protect the safety of machine operators and the public. Thus, although these safety standards will imply extra development activities, one must have the attitude that these are not a burden which can be compromised in order to meet budgets and delivery deadlines.


author = {Mikael {\AA}kerholm and Rikard Land and Christian Strzyz},
title = {Can you afford not to certify your control system?},
note = {A long version was published on the web, with a shorter version in the printed magazine.},
month = {November},
year = {2009},
publisher = {iVT International},
url = {}