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Industrial Ethernet Guide - The openSAFETY Protocol

Posted by Wilfried Voss on

A Comprehensible Guide to Industrial Ethernet by Wilfried Voss

The following is part of  A Comprehensible Guide to Industrial Ethernet by Wilfried Voss.

openSAFETY is the first open und bus-independent standard for all Industrial Ethernet solutions. It is certified according to IEC 61508 and meets the requirements of SIL (Safety Integrity Level) 3 applications. The protocol has been approved by national IEC committees, and it has been released for international standardization in IEC 61784-3 FSCP 13.

openSAFETY is a communications protocol employed to communicate information that is vital for the safe operation of machinery in manufacturing lines, process plants, or similar industrial environments. For instance, the information may be an alert signal triggered when someone or something has breached a light curtain on a factory floor. While traditional safety solutions rely on dedicated communication lines connecting machinery and control systems via individual connections, openSAFETY does not require additional cables maintained for safety-related data.

It is a bus-based protocol supporting the transfer of safety data over existing Industrial Ethernet connections between end devices and higher-level automation systems. These connections are generally established and applied for regular monitoring and control purposes. Unlike other bus-based safety protocols that are fitting for application only with a single or a few individual Industrial Ethernet implementations and are incompatible with other systems, openSAFETY operates within a wide range of different Industrial Ethernet variants.

openSAFETY was conceived by the Ethernet POWERLINK Standardization Group (EPSG) and originally developed as a safety companion to that organization’s own Industrial Ethernet variant, POWERLINK, but the safety protocol is no longer restricted to POWERLINK. Rather, it can be used with several major Industrial Ethernet implementations, namely PROFINET, SERCOS III, EtherNet/IP, Modbus-TCP, and POWERLINK. This extensive compatibility with about 90% of the installed base of Industrial Ethernet installations is achieved because openSAFETY operates only on the topmost (application) layer of the network.


netSHIELD"NSHIELD 52-RE" - Industrial Ethernet Development Platform

netSHIELD"NSHIELD 52-RE" - Industrial Ethernet Development PlatformnetSHIELD is an evaluation expansion board with Arduino compatible connectors for development purposes.

It enables the user to connect a Microcontroller based application to all market relevant Real-Time-Ethernet industrial networks with best-in-class real-time capabilities, like PROFINET, Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT, and others.

The extension board features a netX 52 system-on-chip. The netX SoC architecture is designed from the ground up for the highest demands on flexibility, determinism, and performance in terms of multi-protocol capability and low latency for short cycle times. The heterogeneous multi-core architecture features an ARM processor core, coupled with a flexible communication subsystem (xC) for varieties of industrial applications support.

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