Last month I received an email from a reader who had been told (by a UK representative of a very large German supplier of industrial automation and drive products) that the SISTEMA Safety Integrity Software Tool will soon be withdrawn. For those readers not familiar with SISTEMA, it is a free software package, developed by the IFA in Germany, for applying EN ISO 13849-1, Safety of machinery, Safety-related parts of control systems, Part 1: General principles for design. SISTEMA is widely used and so its withdrawal would be a serious concern for many machine builders. To establish whether or not the rumour was true, I emailed the IFA. The response is reproduced below in full:
Dear Mr Severn,
I am in charge of the still ongoing development and support of SISTEMA. I appreciate very much that you ask us directly to verify this bad rumour!
We are in preparation for an update to version 1.1.5 at the end of 2012. We already announced to support in 2013 the upcoming 'Universal Database for safety-related values of components or parts of control system'. This database has been standardized by VDMA (German Engineering Federation) with our participation.
Our internet pages referring to SISTEMA are updated frequently. The newest publication is our SISTEMA Cookbook 4: www.dguv.de/ifa/en/pra/softwa/sistema/kochbuch/index.jsp
Our unique list of download links to the vendors' SISTEMA libraries is still growing and growing ... www.dguv.de/ifa/en/pra/softwa/sistema/bibliotheken/index.jsp
There is no question that we will go on with SISTEMA and spend a lot of development resources. SISTEMA is the worldwide de-facto standard for the application of ISO 13849-1 and we are aware of our responsibility.
Dr Michael Huelke
Institut für Arbeitsschutz der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung (IFA) [Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance]