EPSG unveils uniform safety standard

11 May 2010

The Ethernet Powerlink Standardization Group (EPSG) claims openSAFETY, introduced at Hannover Fair, represents the first uniform safety standard for all industrial Ethernet solutions. The development should answer demands of an automation industry that has been clamouring for a uniform standard for safety systems.

With openSAFETY, the EPSG has now laid the foundation for the first completely open safety-related data communication protocol for all areas of automation. The body claims communication cycles in the microsecond range and says the TÜV Rhineland certified protocol guarantees the fastest response times and highest level of safety. Furthermore it 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.

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 transferred 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.

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