openSAFETY is the first open and only truly bus-independent safety standard available for all industrial Ethernet and fieldbus solutions. This technology makes it easier to implement safety solutions in compliance with current 2006/42/EC machine guidelines as well as other applicable standards. Using the "Black Channel" principle, openSAFETY is the only safety protocol in the world that can transfer secure data via any fieldbus system.
In addition to its high degree of interoperability, the way this protocol communicates ensures that messages are received and processed by all recipients at the same time. This is one of the reasons why openSAFETY is a step ahead of the rest with regard to response times. Furthermore, integration via POWERLINK also drastically reduces response times. This in turn considerably increases the availability of machines and systems.
Using openSAFETY technology has many advantages. Combining faster response times with smaller safety clearances means increased productivity, which is enormously important for machine builders. System operators profit from faster commissioning and changeover times thanks to automated parameterization and configuration services.
In addition to digital I/O, the openSAFETY protocol also covers analog and temperature interfaces as well as safe speed measurement up to SIL3 and PLe. Together with safe drive technology, it enables a large number of extremely fast safe reactions, providing an opportunity for machine developers to reduce their reliance on E-stop buttons that often result in damage.
Wiring safety-oriented sensors and actuators is greatly simplified with openSAFETY because they can be connected to the network at the same decentralized I/O nodes being used in parallel by the standard I/O channels. Many of today's safety-oriented components also come equipped with their own bus interface and can be connected to the network directly. In a fully integrated system, it is also no longer necessary to wire the alarm contacts from the safety system to the standard system.
With openSAFETY, B&R provides complete transparency of all safe and standard I/O channels in one system. This allows modules or machine options not permanently built into a system – including when they must be outfitted with the necessary safety features – to be set up in a standard software project and put into operation in the field by simply selecting the proper configuration on a computer screen.