Force Testing to BS EN 12453

Force Testing


Measurement points for force testing
to EN 12445

Electrically operated gates are generally for the protection of persons and property and should be safe in all aspects of use by others at all times.

If you are considering having electronic gates installed on your premises then you should be aware that they are serviced and maintained regularly.

Electric gates properly installed should represent good value for money and give you years of trouble free use in your coming and goings and also keep those precious to you safe.

When you use EN-TESTED operators and control panels you do not need to install any sensitive safety edges. However, the impact forces still need to be measured for compliance against the parameters established in the regulations.

If you have an automated gates, door or barriers then make sure the product is tested for compliance with maximum impact force standards established by EN 12445 and EN 12453 Technical Regulations.

Do I need to have the gates serviced:

Servicing is a very important and an integral part of any automated gate installation, in fact servicing can dramatically reduce the overall running costs, by scheduling routine preventive maintenance for such systems.

At Cookson & Son Ltd we provide a service schedule when the gates are installed at your premises. This should tell you the frequency of any maintenance required, however as a general rule automated gates should be maintained every six months on commercial premises (i.e: apartment blocks or business premises) and a yearly service is advised for low usage gate ways  such as private residences where not more than 4,380 manoeuvres a year are expected (equivalent to twelve operations a day).

In the future you will require a certificate as proof of safety, a copy of the certificate can be held with the National Electronic Notification Registrar for Automatic Doors, Gates & Barriers. Remember if selling on a property the new owner will be looking for compliance with safety.

Do I need a safety inspection certificate:

All automated gate installations must have a certificate to show that the installation is safe for use as a machine and that additional safety features incorporated in the design are functioning correctly.

Automated gates are required to be checked yearly for compliance with the machinery directive. It is the responsibility of the owner of such automatic gateways (which are classed as machines) to make sure that they are working and functioning correctly. The thought of your child or even grandchild being trapped due to the owners negligence is not worth thinking about, for the sake of having a routine service and visual inspection certificate provided by a professional.

Meeting the new Rules and Regulations (Machinery Directive)

Directives are “provisions” that lay down objectives (lines of conduct) they are drawn up by the European Parliament and Must be converted to laws by UK and other National Parliaments. Directives are therefore Laws and are “rules for individual or social conduct” of persons and are drawn up by State legislative bodies. Observance of a law is a moral civil and penal obligation.

Key Requirments

  • Key Requirements of BS EN 12445:2001, Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Safety in use of power operated doors. Test methods.
  • Defines force testing requirement points on sliding and swing gates as the areas illustrated in the diagrams below, please note that the area designated for testing on swing gates when opening only exists when a gate opens within 500mm of a wall, fence or other object in the gate’s travel
  • Test points are horizontally 500mm, 300mm, 50mm from stop post (See figure 3)
  • Vertically 300mm from top of gate, 50mm from bottom & halfway between these points
  • Each test point is measured 3 times
  • The average value is then calculated from these results and submitted as a PASS or FAIL
  • An EN 12445 compliant force testing device must be used!

EN 12978 – Key requirements

  • The current version of this standard is somewhat dated and covers only PSPE and ESPE; it does not cover either inherent force limitation or programmable systems. When selecting a gate automation product utilising Inherent force limitation technologies, the installer should ensure that the product is certified as a safety component under the Machinery Directive by a notified body or, failing this, sourced from a reputable manufacturer
  • EN 12978 specifies the essential health and safety requirements to meet safety categories as defined in BS EN 954-1
    (Safety of machinery – Safety related parts of control systems – Part 1. General principles for design).
    Note that
    BS EN 954-1 has been superseded by BS EN ISO 13849-1:2008 and that more recent equipment may be classified against this standard rather than BS EN 954-1.
  • The standard requires that the safety functions of the “control system” MUST be monitored to prevent undetected faults from occurring in the system resulting in the unsafe operation of the gate.
  • Any ESPE (eg light curtain) or PSPE (eg safety edge) devices attached to the control system either directly or through external transmission systems must be monitored against undetected faults to safety CATEGORY 3/4 of BS EN 954-1 or to CATEGORY 2 utilising an external test signal from the gate control system.
  • When using photoelectric devices (such as a light curtain or photocells) to provide the safety function of the automation, category 2 of BS EN 61496-1 must be observed.

Note: “control system” in this context can refer to the gate automation control board that governs the operation of the attached drive unit(s) and ESPE or PSPE devices installed on the gate to provide protection.

Gate control boards that provide in-built CATEGORY 2 “TEST” signal facilities should be used in conjunction with ESPE/PSPE equipment or with external transmission systems that are CATEGORY 2 rated.

Gate control boards that do NOT provide this “TEST” facility should be used with external transmission systems that are CATEGORY 3/4 rated and then only if the control board meets the essential requirements for safe operation listed in the BS EN 12453 section of this document. In addition any wiring connection made to the control board from the transmission system should utilise armoured or protected cabling and ideally be located in the same enclosure or housing as the control board itself.

Note: "Transmission system”in this context can refer to the wired/wireless method used to connect the ESPE or PSPE device to the control system.

Note: When using a programmable device as the “control system” of the gate (such as a PLC/Inverter type system) the required essential health and safety requirements of machinery safety standard BS EN 62061:2005 should be observed. Only devices that meet this standard should be used.