ODVA publishes CIP safety specification

O

pen DeviceNet Vendor Association (ODVA) has announced the publication of the CIP Safety Specification, which includes functional safety extensions to the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) for safety applications. CIP Safety is unique among safety network offerings because the safety functionality is in the end node. Accordingly, CIP Safety will provide users with the ability to deploy standard and safety devices on a single CIP Network along with a choice of safety network architectures.

Safety is a key issue in manufacturing automation today. Manufacturers are under growing social and legislative pressure to do everything possible to protect workers from physical injury, while at the same they are under economic pressure to improve manufacturing productivity and return on investment.

“The user benefits of deploying CIP Safety will be significant,” said Katherine Voss, Executive Director of ODVA. “CIP Safety expands the application coverage of CIP Networks to include functional safety and, in so doing, it will allow users to implement safety systems within a unified CIP Network architecture that can increase productivity and improve plant safety at the same time.”

Publication of the CIP Safety Specification marks a milestone for ODVA and culminates an initiative started by ODVA and its members in 2002 to integrate functional safety services into its CIP Network architecture. During this time, both CIP Safety and DeviceNet Safety received approval by TÃœV Rheinland in accordance with the international standard IEC 61508, "Functional Safety of Electrical/Electronic/Programmable Electronic Safety-Related Systems," for applications up to Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL 3).

In 2004, ODVA announced the formation of the CIP Safety Joint Special Interest Group, which led ODVA's technical efforts to convert the CIP Safety network architected by ODVA member companies Omron, Rockwell Automation and SICK into the CIP Safety Specification published by ODVA in 2005. ODVA's next step in its safety initiative will be the extension of CIP Safety to EtherNet/IP.

ODVA members have indicated that CIP Safety devices will be available for DeviceNet networks by mid-2005. Bearing the name "DeviceNet Safety," these devices will provide fail-safe communication between nodes such as safety input/output blocks, safety interlock switches, safety light curtains and safety PLCs. Because all CIP Networks are interoperable with one another and have seamless bridging and routing, users will be able to deploy the standard CIP Networks -- EtherNet/IP, ControlNet and DeviceNet -- in conjunction with CIP Safety networks, and also use standard CIP Networks as a backbone between multiple CIP Safety sub-nets. Built on a media-independent platform, CIP provides communication from the plant floor through the enterprise and enables users to integrate safety, control, synchronization, motion, information and configuration across multiple networks.

The specifications for CIP Networks are published as The CIP Networks Library. The CIP Safety Specification is Volume 5 in this series.

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