Electrical industry embraces one network for all devices



Ninad Deshpande explains the advantages of the open, bus- independent safety solution, openSAFETY

The EPSG stood out at this year’s ELECRAMA exhibition for the electrical equipment industry for its dedication to the topic of communication networks. POWERLINK and open- SAFETY have been extremely well received in India, and the five-day event in Banga- lore with over 100,000 visitors was no exception.

One network for all devices
The EPSG booth’s main attraction was a live demo showing drives, encoders, sensors, I/O modules and a safety PLC – all from different vendors – communicat- ing with the PLC over the high-speed POWERLINK bus. “POWERLINK technology is quickly gaining momentum in India,” says Ninad Deshpande, representative of the EPSG in India. “As OEMs and end users become more cautious regarding the technology used in their machines and plants, they are extending their specifica- tions beyond the automation vendor and moving towards open technologies that ensure their independence and avoid vendor lock-ins.”

Fieldbus-independent safety solution
Another eyecatcher at the EPSG booth was the presentation of a fieldbus- independent safety solution able to handle both standard and safety-related data. Many were surprised to learn that the high-speed openSAFETY protocol is not only completely open, but also completely free of any legal or technical restrictions. As an open, bus-independent safety solution, openSAFETY provides an answer for users looking to operate safe plants without having to change their currently installed systems.

Ever-growing list of successful implementations
The strength with which POWERLINK technology is spreading was evidenced by products from vendors like ABB, KEB, Lenze, B&R, Baumer, TR-Electronic, Schneider Electric, ASCO Numatics and Pepperl & Fuchs. The systems on display at the booth nevertheless represented only a modest selection of the fast-growing list of organizations placing their trust in this technology to meet their customers’ requirements for vendor-independent real-time data transfer.