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A uniform safety standard

A uniform safety standard
openSAFETY over Modbus TCP, openSAFETY over SERCOS III, openSAFETY over EtherNet/IP and openSAFETY over POWERLINK - with openSAFETY, the EPSG offers the first uniform safety standard for all Industrial Ethernet solutions.

For a long time now, claims the Ethernet POWERLINK Standardization Group (EPSG), the automation industry has been demanding a uniform standard for safety systems because the development of safety-related technology is very cost-intensive and the investment risk is high. Now, with open-SAFETY, the EPSG has laid the foundation for the first completely open safety-related data communication protocol for all areas of automation. With communication cycles in the microsecond range, the TÜV Rhineland certified protocol guarantees the fastest response times and highest level of safety and is suitable for use in systems rated up to SIL 4. 

Because openSAFETY is bus independent, it can be used with all fieldbus systems or industrial Ethernet systems. In order to demonstrate the interoperability of the safety solution with different protocols, at the 2010 Hanover trade fair the EPSG presented four different openSAFETY solutions, which were created using what it says are currently the most often implemented industrial Ethernet protocols: SERCOS III, Modbus TCP, EtherNet/IP and POWERLINK. Users of an industrial Ethernet system other than POWERLINK now also have, perhaps for the fist time, a complete, certified safety solution available to them. The EPSG claims that, although other user organi-sations have been announcing the development of safety-related protocols for a long time, only it offers an operational product that runs on all transport protocols, and that product is openSAFETY.

The complete black channel principle of openSAFETY is the basis for interoperability with arbitrary transport protocols. For the functionality of the safety protocol, it doesn't matter which transport protocol is used to transport the safety frames because all safety-related mechanisms are integrated exclusively on the application layer of the protocol and its functionality is thereby independent of the underlying transport layer. openSAFETY continually monitors all transfered data content to ensure that it is complete, that it has the correct transfer sequence and that the transfer duration is maintained. All transfer errors are recorded immediately so that industry-specific communication solutions and even single-channel, non-safe transport networks can be used as the basis for communication without limitations. 

The EPSG says openSAFETY is characterised by three things: by the definition of data transport using an extremely flexible telegram format, by the integrated services for configuration and automatic parameter distribution, and in particular by a communication structure that achieves optimum machine productivity using cross traffic. The crucial advantage is the reduction of safety-relevant braking distances, which allows the safety margins to be ideally dimensioned and the machine cycles to be increased.
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