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Getting to grips with safety integrity levels

Getting to grips with safety integrity levels
IFM Electronic has recently launched more inductive sensors which achieve SIL2 or SIL3. Available in M12 (SIL2) or M18, M30 and cube styles (SIL3) these new inductive proximity sensors show, the company says, that it is listening to its customers. Designed with two OSSDs (output signal switching devices) built in, the new fail-safe series will work with conventional safety relays, and will of course still work with safety PLCs. 

No special demands such as shielding, twisted wires or separate laying are placed on the industrial standard M12 connection. The sensor is simply connected to existing evaluation units, safety controllers and safe bus systems using a common unscreened 
4-core cable. Functional safety is assured with the IFM Electronic fail-safe inductive system; coil damage, component health, cross-monitoring, short-circuit protection - all aspects are continuously checked within the device itself. Any fault, at any time is instantly signalled.

All fail-safe inductive switches from IFM electronic are constructed with full redundant and diverse internal circuits, certified by the TÜV Rhineland, but otherwise has all the advantages of an inductive sensor: with no moving parts, IP67, standard M12 connector etc. Now you may think an inductive sensor which needs no special target would be easy to defeat - but of course that would defeat the object of safety. The target may be nothing special, but its position in the right place at the right time is what counts. When the target is present, any other piece of metal between the switch and the target will cause the output to switch off. Setting the unit is not difficult either, because the LED helps in adjustment, while incorporating a delay to befuddle the fiddlers.
 

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