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The benefits of using Safety over EtherCAT in your next machine design project

Author : Mark Checkley & Mike Keefe, KEB Automation

07 September 2021

With the development of Safety over EtherCAT in PLCs and drive controllers, powerful new tools are available for machine builders to use in their next machine design project, which can help provide their machines with a valuable technological edge, say Mark Checkley and Mike Keefe of KEB Automation.

Modern communication systems not only realise the deterministic transfer of control data, but also enable the transfer of safety-critical control data through the same medium. EtherCAT utilises the Safety over EtherCAT (FSoE = FailSafe over EtherCAT) protocol for this purpose.

The safe operation of machines often requires safety functions to limit speeds, directions of rotation, or axis positions. With traditional safety solutions, dangerous operating states are detected and avoided using external safety modules. However, this only serves to increase the complexity of the machine’s safety concept. In contrast, drive controllers with integrated safety functions and safety PLCs, including certified function blocks, can be used today.

The benefits of using FSoE in machine design projects are numerous, but here are five key benefits to consider...

Read the full article in DPA's September issue

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