Original Press Release
Well-Integrated Functional Safety
Press release date: July 6, 2012
Wiesbaden: Eckelmann AG is extending the modular, configurable safety system ESLC with a CAN fieldbus coupler (CANopen). This extension creates convenient options for communication and integration: the fieldbus connection - in contrast to still widely used coupling via signal outputs - allows the direct transmission of the complete process image and internal states of the safety module. A maximum of 87 safe signals can be transmitted.
All information regarding safety functions is thus readily available at any time at the level of control and operation. Additional wiring is not necessary. Moreover, any desired signals or pre-processed signals can be configured for transfer to the CAN bus coupler via drag & drop using the graphical ESLC configuration tool Safeconf.
The bus coupler offers machine builders the advantage of being able to use the information from all safety circuits in user interfaces and machine visualization and for expanded fault diagnostic functions without high costs. Eckelmann's modular safety system is therefore not only an essential component for implementing modern safety concepts in accordance with EN ISO 13849-1 or IEC 61508 with low engineering costs but also, with straightforward integration into bus infrastructure and support for the widely-used and robust CANopen standard, enables an organically interlocking system of functional safety (FS) and control technology.
Safety concepts that are well-integrated into overall automation ensure greater availability and productivity of machinery. A decisive factor here is the improvement of user-friendliness with, for example, tools for intelligent fault diagnosis.
An example is the monitoring of a light curtain with a muting function, which, as is known, enables temporary deactivation of a safety device. Functions are set up to enable intuitive and quick parametrization. Thanks to the bus coupler, such events can then be made observable easily and in real-time in plant visualization. The more safety functions there are to monitor in a machine or plant, the more complex and time-consuming fault diagnosis becomes. Temporarily switching functions or defined areas of plants on and off is now a part of many safety concepts because this measure reduces losses in production workflows and availability. These occasionally complex issues such access control or jog mode are, as a rule, easier for the machine operator to observe and manage if this information is also integrated into control and operation. With the safety modules and CAN bus coupler from Eckelmann, machine builders are well-equipped to meet the growing requirements in safety technology.
Background information on the SLC safety modules from Eckelmann AG With the ESLC safety module from Eckelmann a variety of safety devices can be monitored with little development expense, including emergency off switches, light barriers, laser scanners, two-hand controls, and door contacts. The safety module makes costly monitoring of individual sensors via safety relays obsolete and allows simpler implementation of safety concepts thanks to the large number of predefined, specialized components.
The safety functions can be set up quickly on a PC using the graphical configuration tool Safeconf. Safety logic can be built up with the available function blocks via drag & drop, and simulation and start-up can likewise be carried out with the same development tools.
Configuration data are easily transferred to the safety control system via USB interface. The ESLC safety module has 20 safe inputs and 4 safe outputs and can be expanded, according to one's needs, to up to 100 inputs and 44 outputs using safe I/O extension modules (8 safe inputs and 4 safe outputs per module).