Scalable, functional safety architecture addresses needs of CNC machine builders

February 11, 2013

NUM has released a systemwide functional safety architecture for its CNC system, providing a scalable system that can be applied to almost any type of machine tool, regardless of complexity or number of axes.

Known as NUMSafe, it includes a dedicated safety PLC, safe input and output modules, and digital servo drives with built-in safe motion monitoring. It is compatible with the manufacturer's new-generation Flexium+ CNC platform.

By integrating safety functionality across the entire CNC platform, the safety architecture minimizes the need for additional hardware and simplifies software development. For end users, there is no need to power off the complete machine every time there is an element of human interaction; instead, protection can be ensured by dedicated functions that limit the movement, speed, and position of axes.

Safe devices such as the safety PLC and I/O modules can be contained within the same standard terminal lineup as other elements of the control system. All communication among the machine’s control system, operator panel, and servo drives is handled via EtherCAT fieldbus, using a fail safe over EtherCAT (FSoE) protocol to ensure integrity of safety-related data.