IS & Ex

New generation safety controllers

March 2019 IS & Ex

With the new safety controllers based on the EL6910 TwinSAFE Logic, it is now possible to adapt the Beckhoff system even more specifically to the individual requirements of a machine concept, as well as to a broader spectrum of safety applications. The new I/O components include:

• Terminal EL1918: digital terminal with eight safe inputs.

• Terminal EL2911: safe potential supply terminal with four safe inputs and one safe output.

• EtherCAT Box EP1957-0022: IP67-protected digital combi module with eight safe inputs and four safe outputs.

More options for distributed safety applications

Just like the TwinSAFE logic-capable I/O and motion products that are already available, the three new I/O modules can be used as controllers for the direct execution of customer-specific safety projects. A special feature is their communication capability because like a dedicated controller, the safety project to be executed on the corresponding I/O component can establish direct communication relationships with other safety-relevant devices and pre-process the data internally. This makes it possible to implement highly granular machine modules with distributed safety applications. The central safety controller, if it exists in the application scenario, only needs to process the data that has already been accumulated.

The hardware and software modularity of the system simplifies implementation of even very complex safety applications, and the combination of I/O and TwinSAFE control functionalities in a single I/O component makes it easier to distribute safety tasks across individual machine modules. It also reduces hardware costs. In terms of engineering, the customising function speeds up the process and makes it more convenient. It also ensures minimum validation effort, which in turn further reduces the development costs.

More efficiency through customisation

Safety projects can be modularly designed in TwinCAT as usual. However, with the new customising function, the operating modes ‘temporary deactivation’, ‘permanent deactivation’ and ‘passivation’ can now be configured for each of these modules. With the corresponding configuration of replacement values for the interfaces between the different modules, users can thus implement highly complex, modular and scalable architectures while reducing development costs. For example, a single safety project can be used for an entire family of machines by simply deactivating any modules that may not be needed according to the given requirements.

For more information contact Michelle Murphy, Beckhoff Automation, +27 11 795 2898,,


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