Protecting people from machines

Functional safety communication

Classic hard-wired safety signals limit the flexibility and the productivity of machines. Reusing the communication links between fieldbus devices also for safety-related data saves time and money, and increases the worker safety. As the technology evolves, safety communication also goes wireless.

Functional safety technology
Safety technology for AGV/AMR applications
Growing demand for safety technology

Functional safety and asset protection

In modern factories, people and machines have to work close together.  Protecting people from machines in industrial automation and in logistics with the growing number of autonomous vehicles (AGVs/AMRs) is an imperative requirement.

For these and many other applications, functional safety enables easy implementation of emergency stops over fieldbus or wireless emergency stop solutions.

HMS accompanies you on the way to a safe machine, with know-how and products.

Functional safety standards all over the world
One world – many standards

Understanding the differences in standardization

The world is connected and machines are used in many different regions. International standards, such as EN ISO 13849-1 and EN/IEC 62061 provide the framework for the overall development of functional safe machines all over the world. When it comes to interconnection of safety devices or machines,  there is a set of different safety fieldbus standards that applies depending on the market and region of the end-customers.

CIP Safety, PROFIsafe or Functional Safety over EtherCAT (FSoE) represent the most common safety communication standards (EtherNet/IP, PROFINET and EtherCAT).

HMS supports all of these standards and enable easy switching between protocols.

How to become functional safe?

Implementing safety communication technology

  • Decide on the right protocol to match the market or sales region.
  • Determine the required safety functionality for your application.
  • Choose the right products to implement safety into your devices – either high flexible stacks, easy to implement IO modules or out of the box solutions.
  • Certify your final product (TÜV certification) to be sure that it meets the required norms.

Sounds complicated? HMS supports you with know-how and products in all phases of your project, from specification through development to final certification.

State of the art safety

Keeping safe in an permanently evolving environment is one of the core requirements of machine users. Therefore standards and regulations are also frequently adapted. Our team of safety engineers keep all the HMS safety solutions state of the art and do regular recertifications together with TÜV Rheinland.

HMS is the safe partner for your strategic and long-term safety product offering as we also work closely together with the safety fieldbus and certification authorities to react quickly on any upcoming changes.

We understand safety integrator tasks

Start your safe integration journey with HMS functional safety solutions based on one of our demonstrator kits or evaluation licenses. This gives you a quick introduction in the capabilities and usage of HMS products in your application environment.

You need specific safety technology trainings for dedicated safety protocol solutions? Our safety experts provide code and technology introductions as well as workshops for all our products. This speeds up your development and reduces integration risks from the very beginning. We are happy to share our safety expertise with you.

Product categories

Products to implement functional safe communication

Our customers speak for us

Case studies and testimonials

Ixxat Safe T100 - Safe remote Stop for AMRs / AGVs
Embedded network interfaces Ixxat

Safe remote Stop for AMRs / AGVs

A comprehensive look at the challenges, solutions, and successes in implementing essential safety features for the European market, facilitated by a partnership with HMS Networks.
Fortress Interlocks Safety Lock
Embedded network interfaces Ixxat

Easy PROFIsafe integration into safety interlocks

How Fortress Interlocks integrated functional safety communication into their amGardpro series by using industrial communication solutions from HMS.
Ixxat Safe T100 - Opening the door to more tightly integrated safety
Embedded network interfaces Ixxat

Opening the door to more tightly integrated safety

Safety is an essential element of the operational matrix, as information from safety systems has effect on productivity. Integration into existing infrastructures becomes commonplace as end users look to create unified channels for information.


What are the key protocols used in functional safety for industrial systems?

EN 62061 and EN ISO 13849-1 are standards for functional safety in machine control, each defining safety levels differently: SILs in EN 62061 and PLs in EN ISO 13849-1. PROFIsafe, FSoE, and CIP Safety are protocols ensuring safe communication in automation networks, each tailored to specific network types and safety requirements​. 

What are the best practices for implementing functional safety in complex machinery?

Implementing functional safety in complex machinery involves key practices such as performing hazard analysis and risk assessment, complying with relevant safety standards like IEC 61508, integrating safety considerations into software development, using specific coding guidelines for secure and compliant coding, and employing static code analysis tools for defect detection. Involving teams in the selection and implementation process is also crucial for success.

When shall I use FSoE, when CIP Safety or PROFIsafe?

The choice between FSoE, CIP Safety, and PROFIsafe depends on the specific requirements and existing infrastructure of your industrial system:

  • FSoE: Choose this if your system primarily uses EtherCAT communication. It's ideal for environments requiring rapid reaction times and short data update times.
  • CIP Safety: Opt for CIP Safety when your network involves various types of devices and requires a unified safety protocol across different communication networks like DeviceNet and EtherNet/IP.
  • PROFIsafe: This is suitable for systems already using PROFIBUS and PROFINET networks. 


Additional resources

Do you want to find out more?

Safety Brochure

Download our latest safety brochure as PDF file and learn more about the Ixxat Safe T100 and the safety protocol software.

Solutions for functional safety implementation

See how you can implement functional safe communication and what solutions we offer to match your specific requirements.

Development and consulting

Our safety development team supports customers when developing safety applications and helps with the certification of the final product.

Request a quote for Functional safety

Have a communication expert from HMS contact you to discuss your specific requirements.