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High availability and functional safety in Profibus systems used in process automation

27 April 2009

The topics of high availability and functional safety are important aspects of modern automation systems. With Profisafe, PI (Profibus & Profinet International) specified an ideal safety-oriented system which is being increasingly used in the field of process automation. PI has also worked out a solution for Profibus systems in regard to availability and specified it in their documents on redundancy.

The ARC Advisory Group took up these two topics in the new white paper entitled “Profisafe and Profibus for High Availability and Safety in the Process Industries” and assessed PI's overall solution.

The white paper describes the effect of both aspects on the productivity of process-control systems. The chosen solutions play a decisive role in reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). To the ARC, these aspects are two sides of the same coin and designated as integrated process reliability: functional safety, which is to prevent injury to people and damage to the machine/system and the environment, and system availability, which is to ensure that production is not interrupted unnecessarily, which can be very expensive in the process automation field.

Both PI solutions work ideally together. They can be implemented flexibly as needed. Thus the modalities of the integrated process safety in Profibus systems can be determined solely by the requirements of the application.

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