Automation and machine safety vendors SICK, Rockwell Automation, and Omron Electronics are developing an open protocol for safety communications. It will be based on common, standard protocol found in DeviceNet and Ethernet/IP and consists of an extension to the existing standard. The new safety protocol will allow standard and safety devices to operate on the same network and permit the latter to communicate across DeviceNet and Ethernet/IP networks to other safety devices with no extra programming.
As manufacturers add new technologies to their products, designing for compliance becomes more difficult. Prepare for the certification testing process. Otherwise, you increase the risk of discovering a safety issue after a product leaves the assembly line. That will cause significant time-to-market delays, be much costlier to fix, and damage your brand in the eyes of customers.
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