openSAFETY is a communications protocol used to transmit information that is crucial for the safe operation of machinery in manufacturing lines, process plants, or similar industrial environments. Such information may be e.g. an alert signal triggered when someone or something has breached a light curtain on a factory floor.
While traditional safety solutions rely on dedicated communication lines connecting machinery and control systems via special relays, openSAFETY does not need any extra cables reserved for safety-related information. It is a bus-based protocol that allows for passing on safety data over existing Industrial Ethernet connections between end devices and higher-level automation systems – connections principally established and used for regular monitoring and control purposes.
Unlike other bus-based safety protocols that are suitable for use only with a single or a few specific Industrial Ethernet implementations and are incompatible with other systems, openSAFETY works with a wide range of different Industrial Ethernet variants.