PLCopen Safety

Author: CEmarking TEAM | Last edited: 18.06.2020

Together with its members and other organizations, PLCopen defined safety-related aspects within the IEC 61131-3 development environments. Thus, the security aspects can be supported by a special software tool that is integrated into the software development tools.

Currently the suite of PLCopen Safety specifications consists of the following parts listed below.

Part 1 - Concepts and Function Blocks

BGIA, the German certification institute for research and testing reviewed the PLCopen specification Part 1 and confirmed that it meets the relevant aspects of IEC 61508 and the related standards and can be used as a part of a specific safety requirement specification.

Part 2 - User Guidelines

Part 2 is focused to the users of the PLCopen functionalities and demonstrates the ease of use of the defined function blocks in real life applications. The PLCopen safety functionalities are focused to the machine building industry, as well as related system integrators.

Part 3 - Extensions to the Function Blocks

It was decided that for new function blocks diagnostic codes will be used in order to make the evaluation in software easier and more straightforward. The additional outputs and the diagnostic codes reflect on the state diagram.

Part 4 - Application specific Function Blocks for Presses

The German test & certification organization DGUV approved the PLCopen Specifications Part 3 and Part 4 as suitable basis to develop function blocks for safety applications for presses. As such the DGUV recommends that for safety applications for presses the function blocks are developed according to the PLCopen document and that their functionality is tested on a press.

SafeMotion - A system independent solution

The introduction of safety approved networks makes the control of drives and motion more and more a software item: hard-wired systems are replaced by software commands over networked systems. This is also pushed by initiatives like Industry 4.0 to create more flexibility preferably at the same quality and price levels. However, the different networks come with different solutions, which create problems at the users especially in production environments with heterogeneous networks. To harmonize this, PLCopen started a working group on SafeMotion, which created a generic proposal to solve the motion control safety aspects over the different networks like ProfiSafe, Safety over Ethercat, CIP Safety over Sercos, OpenSafety, CC-Link IE and Mechatrolink, as well as user area’s as described in OMAC.