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Machine safety is center of attention

There are many benefits to both centralised and decentralised machine safety. However, here at SMC we have an innovative solution in the shape of a fully certified PROFIsafe remote I/O module with integrated valve manifold that allows you to connect all SMC devices consistently for control by the central safety-PLC (F-PLC) in a safe way.

  By Ferdinand Rein, Manager German Technical Center R&D 2

The advantages of a safety strategy such as this are far-reaching. Of particular note, with a centralised system you will no longer have any need for safety relays. Without a requirement for these ‘local’ devices (close to the function), it becomes possible to reduces costs. Furthermore, containing the whole application in a single project simplifies commissioning, subsequent troubleshooting and the final safety validation of all implemented safety functions.

Using centralised F-PLCs, machine builders can network together the centralised safety controls in order to share both safe and non-safe configuration and program data as required by the application. As a further benefit, the use of remote safety I/Os by these controls provides you with the design freedom to position safety I/Os at various locations around the machine. Remote I/Os can be either safe or standard I/Os on the fieldbus module, allowing easy start-up while simultaneously reducing installation and labour costs.

Decades of experience
Of course, there are many arguments in favour of both centralised and decentralised safety. Every application is different and our team of experts here at SMC is always ready to discuss specific projects and provide you with advice based on decades of experience and technology know-how. Achieving the required level of functional safety is a detailed task that requires the input of qualified engineers. Our global network is here to support you in this work by providing the information needed to arrive at the optimal solution.

Among our ready-to-go solutions for safety over fieldbus is the SMC EX245-FPS Series, a fully certified PROFIsafe serial interface unit for use in safety applications up to PL e according to EN ISO 13849-1 and SIL 3 according to IEC 62061/IEC 61508. This intrinsically safe manifold enables consistent connection to all SMC devices, and communication of F-Devices via fieldbus bus to the F-PLC (with an integrated F-Host).

SMC´s Fieldbus System for Input/Output with PROFIsafe X 245-FPS Series


Safe inputs and outputs
Our innovative manifold is compatible with fibre optic (SCRJ) or copper Ethernet connectors (M12-D-coded, RJ45), and with push-pull or 7/8” 24VDC voltage supply connectors. The EX245-FPS Series offers both external safe inputs (four input ports with two safe inputs for each port) and integrated safe outputs across four power zones: one zone for safe switching off of the load supply of the modular output modules and three safe valve zones (one pilot valve plus up to eight direction valves per zone). As a fully PROFIsafe solution, the wiring is internally integrated for each power zone (no separate wiring is required).

The EX245-FPS Series is a safe and attractive option for machine builders, complemented by fast start-up, lightweight design and energy-saving functions. Furthermore, the comprehensive diagnostic system makes it easy to identify and remedy errors.

When it comes to machine safety, achieving the best possible risk minimisation and protecting machine operators is always the primary focus. Although choosing between centralised and decentralised machine safety systems can sometimes prove challenging, remember that you can always talk to SMC; we have professional experts and proven product solutions at your disposal.

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