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Design News, April 2013

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Automation & Control trical and mechanical safety to functional safety, a separation remained between safety and control. Many systems continued to require separate controllers and networks to control and monitor safety and non-safety functions. But the idea of these functions converging — of integrating safety within the operating system — began to gain sway as the above-mentioned debate took on momentum. Additionally, the emergence of new technological approaches has made the idea of integrated safety a reality, and moved safety into control like a hand into a glove. The New Solutions Historically, safety and control systems were separate. Integrated safety systems are a networked solution where the controller and safety network architecture operate within a single CPU to manage both control and monitoring of safety and non-safety functions. STI G9SP are software-based stand-alone controllers that are quickly programmed and reconfigured to satisfy the complex and evolving safety control needs of small and mid-sized machines. This makes them ideal in applications where customer-driven machine set-up changes demand flexible safety solutions. S6 aUTO M aT I ON & c O NT R O L / a s Up p L e M e N T T O d e s I g N N e ws A p ril 2013 In integrated safety systems, the controller and safety network architecture operate within a single CPU to manage both control and monitoring of safety and non-safety functions. This is called a "networked solution." The development of networking technologies allows safety to be administered over a network — something that wasn't possible a decade ago. The rapid implementation of distributed control and safety systems is leading to the proliferation of devices with built-in networked safety. Consider servo drives. Today's servo drives have built-in safety functionality and they are moving toward networked safety, where they can be networked, for example, on EtherCAT. Because the safety is built into the drive and the drive is on an EtherCAT bus, the ability to manage safety for that drive over the network is realized. Further, companies are looking to incorporate safety and all levels of automation (e.g., security, diagnostics, communications) onto a single backplane. This is called the "single backplane solution." With the convergence of control and safety systems onto one backplane or in one programming environment, all gray areas are eliminated. Everything is designed to work together as a complete system, with safety and control as an integrated system on an integrated controller. The CPU for safety and the CPU for control are on the same backplane — within the controller. Powerful Advantages Let's continue with servo drives to see [www.designnews .com]

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