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Safety – Separate or Integrated?

Safety systems – should they be separated from or integrated with the control system?  Surprisingly, vendors who offer only separate systems say you should use separate systems and vendors who offer only integrated systems say you should use integrated systems.  Meanwhile, I think users are saying they should use hardwired relays.

The users are missing an opportunity if that is really the case.  There’s a lot of information now that points to the economic benefits of using a system over using hardwiring.  Benefits like easier wiring, faster commissioning, and reduced downtime due to the inherent diagnostic capability.  Download the ARC report with the details here. 

As far as the separate vs. integrated debate, Automation World has an article worth reading in the current issue and online: “The Great Safety Debate.”

You can also keep up with safety at the Process Safety blog.

So can PROFIsafe be used as a separate system or as an integrated system?  Yes.  While we normally think of PROFIsafe working in an integrated fashion, there is nothing to prevent it from being used as a separate system either.  And it works over PROFIBUS and PROFINET seamlessly.  Separate or integrated, you use one set of tools for configuration and diagnostics with PROFIsafe.