Drives and Controls Magazine
IO-Link Safety gets first live multi-vendor demo at SPS
Published:  21 November, 2022

More than ten automation companies took part in the first live multi-vendor demonstration of IO-Link Safety at the recent SPS trade fair in Nuremberg. The demonstration covered all communication levels, from failsafe PLCs to IO-Link Safety masters and IO-Link Safety devices. According to the organisers, it was the first time that IO-Link Safety had been shown working with IO-Link Standard at a public event.

IO-Link Safety expands machines and systems automated via IO-Link with functionally safe components and communications. IO-Link’s standard connection and transmission technologies can be used unchanged, making it easy to deploy the safety functions. IO-Link Safety is being standardised as IEC 61139-2.

In the SPS demonstration – which linked products from suppliers including Siemens, SEW-Eurodrive, Sick, SMC, Pilz, Festo, Euchner, Murrelektronik, HMS Networks and Phoenix Contact – a failsafe PLC was shown communicating with IO-Link Safety masters via Profinet and Profisafe. Light grids, door locks, control and signalling boxes, e-stop buttons and safe drives, were integrated into the application as IO-Link Safety devices.

To demonstrate the interplay between IO-Link and IO-Link Safety, an IO-Link text display and an IO-Link signal light provided status indication.

The application also demonstrated a mixed communication mode where safety-oriented and standard data are exchanged with the same IO-Link device at the same time. This makes IO-Link Safety particularly useful for safe drives, door locks and control boxes, among other things. Non-safety functions can be programmed as usual, while only safety-oriented functions are controlled and monitored by a PLC failsafe program.

Part of the multi-vendor demonstration of IO-Link Safety at SPS

Device engineering for IO-Link Safety is carried out using IO-Link’s IODD (IO Device Description) language. If an IO-Link device supports device-specific and safety-oriented parameters, a safety tool from the device manufacturer can be used in addition to the IODD. A standardised interface is available for integrating the tool into the IO-Link engineering software.

External pre-configuration can be carried out using a USB IO-Link master. This provides IO-link Safety functions in conjunction with the engineering software, allowing safety functions to be tested before installation.