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PLCopen sets up safe motion working group

22 December, 2014

The PLCopen automation standards organisation has set up a new working group to look at safe motion.

Although PLCopen has previously specified a limited set of safety functions – including Safe Stop and Salely Limited Speed – within its safety specifications, these are too restricted, says managing director, Eelco van der Wal.

He points out that using one or more safety function blocks per axis can quickly result in complex applications, conflicting with PLCopen’s aim of simplifying the development and certification of applications. This is particularly true for networked machines on production lines, where safety information at the machine level needs to be communicated with other machines in a safe, but transparent, way.

The new working group aims to simplify matters and could publish its proposals before the end of 2015. One possibility is to use predefined safety profiles.

Van der Wal adds that there is clear demand to include robotics in future “but we’re not sure of how to do it”.

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