Safety first in fieldbus networks

by The CC-Link Team on 3 June 2010

High speed safety solutions over CC-link open networks

One of the attractions to users of the CC-Link fieldbus is the availability of the CC-Link Safety network, which enables networks to be extended into safety-critical applications. Not only does CC-Link Safety have the same high-speed communications and response capabilities as the standard CC-Link network, it uses the same network twisted pair or optical fibre media, allowing companies to protect their existing investments and to avoid costly duplication of common network elements.

In assessing the safety of any system, the IEC61508 standard defines a set of Safety Integrity Levels based on the probability of a dangerous failure over time. Of these, Safety Integrity Level 3 (or SIL3) is considered to be the highest level of risk reduction achievable using a single programmable electronic system. Crucially, CC-Link Safety meets the requirements of IEC61508 SIL3, which dictates fewer than one in ten million undetected communication failures.

So, given the ever-widening availability of a range of safety devices such as light curtains and safety switches with safety networking capabilities built in, the CC-Link Safety network can be used to cut down on wiring, hardware costs and installation efforts, just as the CC-Link network does in general-purpose industrial networking.

Certified CC-Link Safety equipment includes master PLC modules a range of remote I/O modules from Mitsubishi Electric and Sunx.

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