Production systems are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated, and this brings an increased need for safety. Leading automation manufacturer WEG has published a free whitepaper providing a straightforward guide to functional safety and how variable speed drives (VSDs) can be used to implement safety functions.

Functional safety covers features designed to detect and prevent dangerous failures, or to mitigate their impact when they occur. It involves ensuring the safety of machines and processes at every level, from design through to operation and training. It is already a legal requirement in many regions, but functional safety is a vast and complex subject.

Plant operators and engineers should have a good understanding of functional safety requirements and the key terms and regulations. WEG’s whitepaper aims to simplify this information and to offer a comprehensive and informative introduction to the most important functional safety standards required for industrial processes.

The whitepaper also discusses VSDs and how they can implement safety functions across all stages. WEG’s high performance VSDs have integrated safety features in line with functional safety requirements and can reduce the number of additional devices needed for compliance to standards. VSDs with built-in features are easier to install and incur lower maintenance costs. In the event of a failure, VSDs can also offer faster safety actuation and system restarts than external contactors.

The guide provides useful advice on selecting a VSD for a range of applications and includes useful architecture examples of how they can be integrated into a system for maximum efficiency.

“At WEG, we understand the increasing importance of functional safety in industrial processes. This guide is designed to demystify the important concepts and to advise on how to meet safety requirements,” explained Marek Lukaszczyk, European marketing manager at WEG. “Our high-performance VSDs have a range of built-in safety features and can contribute significantly to the overall safety of an operation.”

Though functional safety is a complex area, understanding the regulations and knowing how to effectively implement functions using a VSD can make compliance easier and more cost effective. Download the whitepaper here to find out more.