Developing safety-oriented technology is rather cost-intensive and carries a high investment risk which was the reason that companies from the automation industry hesitated for a long time
they’ve been calling for a global standard for safety systems. The foundations for that, at least, have been laid with the introduction of openSAFETY, a completely open safety-oriented data transfer protocol for automation applications, by the Ethernet Powerlink Standardization Group (EPSG).
The protocol, which has been certified by German testing authorities TÜV Rheinland and TÜV Süd, allows for communication cycles at the microsecond level, thus ensuring short reaction times as well as safety. It is suitable for use in systems with safety requirements up to SIL 3.
At Hannover Messe 2010, openSAFETY solutions for SERCOS III, Modbus TCP, EtherNet TCP/IP and Powerlink had been introduced. Now the openSAFETY standard is now also available for Profinet. Thus it is now available for all major real-time Ethernet protocols, covering 91% of the Industrial Ethernet market. openSAFETY has been developed independently from all fieldbus organizations.
The EPSG actively supports the use of openSAFETY with any transport protocol, providing support for certification and conformance tests. openSAFETY is a technically and legally open solution: the protocol is available as an open source software that can be downloaded free of charge. Its BSD license and independence from fieldbus systems ensure investment safety and reduce development efforts.