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Functional Safety as a "Full Service": The Three-Stage Complete Package for Comprehensive Safety

2021-11-11

Functional Safety Concepts from Pepperl+Fuchs
Pepperl+Fuchs is now offering a complete package on the topic of functional safety in mechanical and plant engineering. This package is based on three pillars that cover all phases of the safety life cycle.

There are several issues currently for functional safety in mechanical and plant engineering—it is difficult to maintain an overview of the current standards; the safety concepts have multiple stages; and it comprises complex calculations. There is also the fact that it involves a large number of partners, such as functional safety engineering services and manufacturers of safety sensors, safety-related controls, and safe shutdowns. Alongside these conflicting interests, OEMs and end users regularly face typical challenges when implementing applications:

  • With the variety of sensors on offer, it is not always clear which sensing principle is best suited for the application in question.
     
  • The manufacturer's product documentation that is relevant to safety verifications is structured differently or there are no characteristic safety values for all components in the safety loop.
     
  • The OEM or end user may have to coordinate the engineering services and component manufacturers, which can be time consuming.
     
  • There are no human resources to monitor how standards are developing or to adapt and retrofit machines and plants that are in operation where this is required.
     
  • There is no guidance available that is not linked to the technology and the manufacturer, which can result in additional financial costs.

To support designers and users in this situation, Pepperl+Fuchs is now offering a complete package on the topic of functional safety in mechanical and plant engineering. This package is based on three pillars that cover all phases of the safety life cycle:


1. Sophisticated Safety Concepts

Pepperl+Fuchs supports its customers with one or more of its certified functional safety experts for the duration of the development of the safety concept. These experts bring a deep knowledge of current standards and guide the customer through the entire process, right from the start. In this mutual exchange, a sophisticated and customized safety concept is created that takes into account all possible weak points in the design of a machine in advance and eliminates them—without costly retroactive adjustments during operation.

Using applications such as SISTEMA, the Pepperl+Fuchs experts provide the customer with a reliable statement as to whether the measures planned for risk reduction, and the products to be used, meet the required performance level. The calculation does not just focus on the sensors—it covers the entire safety loop, including controls and shutdown elements. This is not limited to new developments: For example, even if the customer is retrofitting existing machines due to changing standards, the experts from Pepperl+Fuchs can support them by creating customized safety concepts. Even third-party components can be part of the safety solution—the aim of the consultation is always to find the optimal solution, without necessarily being tied to specific technologies, products, or suppliers.

2. A Complete Sensor Portfolio for Safety Applications

Pepperl+Fuchs experts also have access to the company's own portfolio of industrial sensors with a wide range of sensing methods. This includes various solutions for detection, positioning, and identification tasks. Highly specialized and unique safety sensors are available, such as the USi®-safety (the only safe ultrasonic sensor up to SIL 2/PL d) and the safePXV (the only positioning solution up to SIL 3/PL e with a single sensor). At the same time, if necessary, safety applications can also be solved with sensors from the portfolio that are not safe per se, provided certain conditions are met (or with a suitable safety concept). This results in safe solutions for applications that have previously been virtually impossible to implement or could only be safely implemented at considerable cost. The fact that Pepperl+Fuchs is already developing industrial standard sensors to meet very high quality requirements is a major contribution to this.

Utilizing its in-house portfolio offers a decisive advantage when developing safety concepts: Where engineering services can only refer to datasheets from sensor manufacturers, Pepperl+Fuchs experts have access to information about the entire development process. This allows end users and OEMs to always be confident that the sensor fits the application's requirement profile and that it can be seamlessly integrated into the machine concept and safety concept.

3. In-Depth Training and Seminars on Functional Safety

Last but not least, training courses and seminars from Pepperl+Fuchs on the topic of functional safety are available to all interested parties—these can be tailored to the safety concept developed for the customer as an in-house event, or they can be more general in nature. Pepperl+Fuchs offers both face-to-face and online events on the topics of functional safety in mechanical and plant engineering and in the process industry. All training formats combine theoretical aspects with useful practical knowledge to ensure optimal learning success.

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