Balluff Introduces Functional Safety Solution

Combining PROFIsafe with IO-Link

Balluff Inc. is pleased to announce the industry's first and unique functional safety solution that combines PROFIsafe, an industry standard safety communication protocol, with IO-Link, a standard communication technology for sensors and actuators. As a part of this solution portfolio, Balluff is introducing an IO-Link safety I/O hub enabled for PROFIsafe and a host of safety field devices including an e-stop pushbutton, interlocking door/gate switches, and light curtains. When used in conjunction with a PROFIsafe controller, the PROFIsafe IO-Link safety I/O hub can achieve Safety Integrity Level (SIL) CL 3 according to EN/IEC 62061 or Safety Performance Level (PL) e according to ISO 13849-1.

"Traditionally, safety and automation were two separate worlds, requiring different sets of components and programming tools, yet both needed considerable amounts of integration efforts." says Tom Rosenberg, VP of Marketing and Engineering at Balluff, Inc. "IO-Link simplified the automation world by significantly reducing or eliminating in cabinet terminations, and by adding enhanced diagnostics and parameterization features to sensors and actuators. Now, with safety over IO-Link, Balluff can offer the same benefits to the integration of safety devices in the same control architecture." Balluff's safety I/O hub is an IP67 protection rated machine mount IO-Link device. The safety I/O hub features eight M12 ports capable of connecting 6 dual channel safety inputs, 2 safe outputs and 2 standard I/O points. A multitude of safety devices can be connected to this safety hub. "As the safety I/O hub is mounted closer to the field devices, it reduces cable runs, eliminates terminations, and eliminates the potential for mis-wiring of safety devices. With IO-Link onboard, the safety hub offers enhanced diagnostics and configuration through the controller; enabling seamless integration of safety alongside standard automation" Rosenberg continues.

The Balluff safety I/O hub carries a PROFIsafe conformance certificate from the PROFIBUS user organization and certificates for EN/IEC 61508 and EN/ISO13849-1 (TÜV SÜD).

The Balluff safety I/O hub utilizes a black channel tunneling principle to communicate with the PROFIsafe controller via a Balluff PROFINET IO-Link master. "Since the safety I/O hub uses the same IO-Link master that connects to multitude of IO-Link devices for automation needs, it enables our customer the ability to scale the automation architecture to include safety" says Shishir Rege, Marketing Manager for Networking and Safety at Balluff Inc. "Each open IO-Link master port on the Balluff PROFINET network block can be used to connect either an IO-Link device for automation or the Balluff safety I/O hub in order to easily integrate a host of safety devices. The possibilities are truly unlimited with IO-Link" Rege continues.

Safety over IO-Link from Balluff eliminates the need for safety relays or a separate safety controller. Programming for safety and automation is brought together with a single PROFIsafe enabled automation controller. As the safety I/O hub is also an IO-Link device, it also eliminates the need for a dedicated network node to host safety devices; resulting in a robust, cost optimized solution for functional safety.