PLCopen Releases Safety Specification User Guidelines

The PLCopen Technical Committee 5 (TC5) Safety Software User Guidelines is a reference for control people implementing safety control systems and is available at no cost on the PLCopen WEB site ( This is a companion publication to PLCopen Technical Committee 5 - Safety Software Technical Specification; also available on the WEB site. This document illustrates the ease of use of the defined function blocks in real life applications.

The Safety Software User Guidelines document provides a wealth of information for control engineers on safety applications including: Creating a Safety Plan, Terms and Definitions, Example of Safety Functions in a Production Line, Description of the PLCopen Function Blocks, PLCopen Function Blocks and Connection to the Periphery, Graphical Overview of Safety Application Examples, Use of Safe Drives, Diagnostics Conceal I/O Interface, and Two-Hand Control.

The independent association PLCopen, together with its members and external safety related organizations, defined safety function blocks within the IEC 61131-3 development environments.

Safety can now be implemented using a standard set of function blocks. This supports the integration of logic and motion application development with safety. This combination helps developers to integrate safety related functionality into their systems, even from the beginning of the development cycle. This approach contributes to the understanding of safety, as well as reducing the certification time and costs.

The combination of logic, motion, and safety in one environment provides the user with a harmonized view of the total application within one environment. And with multiple implementations, this is also valid across platforms. This means less educational efforts, and simpler transfer of knowledge and application software between different controls. Also, it tackles the ‘not-invented-here syndrome,’ which often is a cause of errors and additional costs. By using tested functionality, and support in the programming environment, including language definition with subsets of functionality, one is able to create safety related application programs for easy commissioning.

About PLCopen
PLCopen was founded in 1992 as an independent worldwide association for industrial suppliers and users. It is the leading association resolving topics related to industrial control programming. PLCopen creates concepts to reduce the costs of industrial automation. These cost savings are realized in areas such as engineering, training, operation and maintenance. Together with its members, PLC open creates specifications to materialize these concepts.

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