ABB integrates drive safety functionality to simplify machine automation

Seamless safety functionality and communication between a drive and a safety PLC


ABB is providing integrated safety functionality for its all-compatible variable speed drives (VSDs) to simplify the engineering design process in machine manufacturing and automation. The new plug-in PROFIsafe module (FSPS-21) removes the need for external safety components and reduces the need for configuration.

Machine builders must ensure applications can be controlled safely and stopped quickly if anything goes wrong. To meet demanding safety requirements, engineers have traditionally designed and installed safety functions using external (hardwired) devices. This usually requires additional installation space as well as being costly and time consuming. These challenges can now be overcome by using drive-based safety solutions.

The new functionality enables safe machine control and seamless safety communications between the drive and the programmable logic controller (PLC) in a wide range of machines from conveyors to grinders. This is enabled through the PROFIsafe over the PROFINET IO communication protocol.

“With this new plug-in module it is possible to provide control, ensure safety and enable PC tool communication to the drive through one Ethernet cable, which simplifies installation and commissioning” said Joonas Saarela, product manager for the PROFIsafe safety functions module, ABB Drives. “The module simplifies commissioning significantly because it requires no additional safety configuration in the drive and moreover reduces the need for training.”

The FSPS-21 module is TÜV Nord-certified and is compatible with ABB ACS380 machinery drives, ACS580 general purpose drives and ACS880 industrial drives. The module offers Safe Torque Off (STO) and Safe Stop 1-time controlled (SS1-t) safety functions. It achieves the highest safety levels in machinery safety: SIL 3 / PL e and is, therefore, suitable for even the most demanding applications. It simplifies the design and verification of the safety solution.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a technology leader that is driving the digital transformation of industries. With a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB has four, customer-focused, globally leading businesses: Electrification, Industrial Automation, Motion, and Robotics & Discrete Automation, supported by the ABB Ability™ digital platform. ABB’s Power Grids business will be divested to Hitachi in 2020. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 144,000 employees.


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