PROFIsafe – in tune with the times

PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) has responded in short order to new demands in the field of functional safety with development of a new version of PROFIsafe. The latest version has already been evaluated and approved for use by two testing bodies: IFA and TÜV.

The high value placed on functional safety stems from the fact that it not only represents a technical solution for efficient and disturbance-free production, but also carries important social significance for humans, machines, and the environment alike. As in all technical fields, a continuous innovation process is taking place in functional safety systems, as well. New requirements for functional safety communication have recently come to light that aim to determine and reduce the rate of all types of errors (residual error rate) for functional safety systems. PI has taken up the issue and addressed it in the new version of PROFIsafe V2.6.1. Compatibility with the previous version has been guaranteed in the process. The new version of PROFIsafe has already been evaluated by two testing bodies – IFA and TÜV – and the positive results of these evaluations have been documented in test reports. Accordingly, PROFIsafe V2.6.1 is now released for use in products.

The main change from the previous version (V2.4) concerns the implicit data integrity, which is now also established using probabilistic methods. The result is a significant improvement in the process of analyzing the residual error rate. The implicit data integrity refers to information that is included in the calculation for the frame integrity but is not transported in the frames themselves.

The new requirements for implicit data integrity have already been incorporated in the ongoing international standardization activities for IEC 61784-3. At the same time, PI experts have had the requirements added to PROFIsafe in IEC 61784-3-3. PROFIsafe is the world's first communication profile for functional safety to be evaluated on the basis of these requirements.

By: Weber