034-13 Lohr am Main, 2013-04-10

Setting new standards in machine safety


The new SIL2/PL d Joystick from Bosch Rexroth helps OEMs to comply with the new Machinery Directive and the IEC 62061 and ISO 13849 functional safety standards.

New generation of SIL2-certified Rexroth electronic joystick

- SIL2 Plug and Play: no additional external supervision for joystick functions required

- Easy integration, compact and robust: validated for 5 million cycles

- Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 2 certification for safety functions based on IEC 62061, Performance Level (PL) d capability based on ISO 13849

Since the European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC has come into effect in 29 December 2009, machine manufacturers have to comply with and therefore have to assess the risks resulting from their machinery. An important measure for risk reduction is functional safety, e.g. based on the harmonized standards IEC 62061 and ISO 13849. The new Rexroth joystick 4THEC5 SIL2 is a key component for advanced mobile working machines and offers a unique solution. The Rexroth device is fully SIL2/PL d capable including handgrip functions (on/off push buttons and rockers, proportional rollers). In addition, its design increases robustness, safety and user ergonomics.

Manufacturers who need to offer safety-related functions on their machines can simply incorporate this “plug & play” unit into their safety system, because the electronic module manages signals from the joystick and provides the interface with the machine wiring on a single 4-pin connector.

With its unique SIL2 and Performance Level d capability, the joystick supports the machine manufacturers who are facing the assessment of the safety level of their products to achieve a certificate of European conformity. This safety level applies to all controls operated using the joystick (shaft and handle functions).

The 4THEC5 SIL2 is compact and robust and has been validated for 5 million cycles. It is suitable for a wide variety of demanding applications, particularly in construction and material handling machines. It is compatible with BODAS, CANOpen and J1939 protocols and can be used alongside the existing Rexroth range of multi-function handgrips to achieve any Human Machine Interface configuration an OEM may require. It features the comfortable ergonomics that users have come to expect from high quality joysticks.

To ensure maximum reliability, the 4THEC5 SIL2 joystick incorporates contactless sensor technology. Internal product architecture features total redundancy for all data flows. For each control element, two position sensors send separate signals to two microcontrollers, which check the consistency of the information using software specially developed by Bosch Rexroth. This redundant architecture ensures that the signals on the bus are fully safe as defined by the applied standards.

More about safety standards and the Machinery Directive:

  • Safety-related control systems can be assessed based on functional safety standards like EN ISO 13849-1 and IEC 62061, to fully meet the functional safety requirements resulting from the European Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC) relating to assembly and trade of machinery within the European Union.
  • EN ISO 13849-1 applies to safety aspects of controls and to all types of machinery, using mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical technologies. Safety performance is assessed by the Performance Level (PL).
  • IEC 62061 applies to the use of electrical, electronic and programmable electronic (E/E/PE) control systems for machine safety, and analyses the entire product life cycle. Safety performance is assessed by the Safety Integrity Level (SIL).
  • Beside new safety products, Rexroth offers an expert network and a center of competence for machine safety which is available for customer support and is also involved in the work on new safety standards, e.g. the current approach to merge IEC 62061 and ISO 13849 resulting in ISO 17305.

Economical, precise, safe, and energy efficient: drive and control technology from Bosch Rexroth moves machines and systems of any size. The company bundles global application experience in the market segments of Mobile Applications, Machinery Applications and Engineering, Factory Automation, and Renewable Energies to develop innovative components as well as tailored system solutions and services. Bosch Rexroth offers its customers hydraulics, electric drives and controls, pneumatics, gear technology, and linear motion and assembly technology all from one source. With locations in over 80 countries, more than 37,500 associates generated sales revenue of approximately 6.5 billion euros in 2012.

To learn more, please visit

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services, active in the fields of automotive technology, energy and building technology, industrial technology, and consumer goods. According to preliminary figures, more than 306,000 associates generated sales of 52.3 billion euros in 2012. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 350 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Bosch spent some 4.5 billion euros for research and development in 2012, and applied for over 4,700 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.”

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Susanne Herzlieb
Maria-Theresien-Straße 23
97816 Lohr am Main
Phone: +49 9352 18-1573