Excellent and very informative article. Some users need to get used to the idea that one controller and software can achieve this safety/control convergence but this trend is here to stay. Thanks for your insights into the technology.
An interesting article indeed. But the main reason for control and safety systems being combined is cost reduction, nothing else. Of course the costs were being raised as more and more safety requirements were added. Some of the added safety requirements are reasonable, and some are quite plainly not reasonable. The driving force certainly looks like a decision to remove the individuals personal responsibility for their own safety. For that change we can thank the lawyers and the courts.
Now what is becoming clear is that to be able to meet the ever increasing safety requirements the machine safety systems are becoming much more complex, which is what has made the combining of safety and control, systems more desireable, in order to avoid needing to supply two individual complex systems.