New module for drives with integrated safety functions

Jon Lawson

During the development of safety drives a substantial portion of the effort (and costs) involved can be attributed to the implementation of safety functions. Mesco Systems has put together many safety-related functions in one software library. It can be universally deployed and thus allows drive manufacturers to significantly reduce their development costs and shorten development times. The entry into the world of development of safety-related drive systems can present prospective project participants with major challenges. 

On top of the usual cost and time pressure, extensive normative and legislative requirements have to be met during the entire product life cycle. The relevant requirements for safe drive functions are based on IEC 61800-5-2. This product standard defines in its current version 17 safety features that can be used to reduce risk in processes involving motion/movement. A significant part of these functions can be fully represented in the software. Drive manufacturers were previously forced to either implement these functions themselves or to make use of specialised engineering service providers, to have them implemented for them. Standard software modules spanning across many manufacturers were previously unavailable. In order to close this gap, Mesco has now put together the most important safety functions in one software library. 

The library contains the basic design of eleven most commonly used safety functions in accordance with IEC 61800-5-2. Additional safety features are gradually being integrated into the library, such that drive manufacturers can retrofit these themselves via firmware updates.