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Eaton’s new SFX programmable safety controller improves design flexibility

20 November 2020

Eaton has announced the launch of its SFX programmable safety controller, an IEC 61508 safety integrity level (SIL) 2 certified controller for stationary and mobile embedded hydraulics system applications.

Featuring a rugged mechanical design and high flexibility, the SFX controller gives original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) the ability to develop and certify functionally safe platforms quickly and cost efficiently.

A key feature of Eaton’s SFX programmable safety controller is its partitioned safety application development environment, which enables changes to control applications without impacting safety function software certifications. 

Physical separation of the pre-certified safety and application domains minimises the effort needed to introduce new features, as well as the time and expense associated with safety certification. The controller’s configurable I/O and white space facilitates design flexibility and allows for custom safety functions.

“We’re working with OEMs to enhance the safety of mobile off-highway equipment, while meeting the need to deliver the latest and greatest vehicle features,” says Jiri Foukner, Product Manager, Electronic Controls and Software, Hydraulics, Eaton EMEA.

“Unlike other embedded controllers, the SFX controller features a dual-processor architecture that separates safety and non-safety functions. This can help to future-proof certified software, providing more flexibility to evolve vehicle features in accordance with product road maps.”

Like Eaton’s HFX controller, the SFX programmable safety controller excels in durability, reliability and configurability, and features market-leading temperature and environmental ratings. This ensures reliable performance in a wide range of operating environments.

As an IEC 61508 pre-certified SIL 2 controller, the SFX programmable safety controller is the ideal solution for a variety of off-highway steering, work and propel applications, including steer-by-wire and auto guidance systems.

The SFX controller is specifically designed as a supervisory controller for safety-critical hydraulic system solutions. Its embedded diagnostics, safety and control host domains, flexible I/O and CAN-compliance features support system integration with a variety of control devices such as displays, keypads and other user interfaces. Plug-and-play compatibility with Eaton’s HFX controllers also enables simple replacement for equipment upgrades.

To learn more about Eaton’s SFX programmable safety controller, visit

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