Safety aspects play an important role in an increasing number of automation systems and designs – especially where personnel safety is at risk through hazardous movements. Safety-related requirements are documented for instance in the EU Machine Directive (Directive 2006/42/EC) or in the occupational safety regulations of various countries.
The Safety at Work concept of AS-Interface makes it possible to seamlessly integrate safety components, i.e. safety sensors and actuators, as well as safety monitors, into virtually any commonly used automation system. Compared to conventional safety solutions, the advantage of AS-i Safety at Work is the ability to send safe and unsafe signals over the same cable. This eliminates the previously required redundant infrastructure as well as the costs associated with complex and error-prone parallel wiring.
The AS-i safety components can be used just like any other standard slave at any location on the AS-i network in combination with standard AS-i components without any restrictions or limitations. The AS-i master treats the safety components just like any other normal AS-i slave. Safety sensors, safety actuators, and the safety monitor interact in a special communications environment.
AS-i Safety at Work is approved for applications with up to SIL3 safety requirements according to EN 61508 or PLe according to EN ISO 13 849-1:2006.