Panel Builder US

December 16, 2019

It’s usually quite difficult to tell safety-rated components and standard components apart just by their physical appearance. Although they perform similar functions, there are important factors that distinguish them from one another, and these differences are the reason why only safety-rated components are a viable option for use in safety systems.

Since industrial safety systems are responsible for protecting the lives of operators who are working in the vicinity of potentially dangerous machinery, the components used in these systems must be highly reliable and must function in a predictable manner. Following is a list of the qualities and features of safety-rated components.

 Safety-rated component must-haves:

  • - Safety components must comply with basic safety principles. This goes without saying as they are intended to be part of the safety system.


  • - Safety components must undergo stringent inspections for defects. Due to the critical function of protecting personnel from hazards, faulty components are not tolerated as part of the safety system.


  • - The mean time to dangerous failure (MTTFd) must be calculated for all safety components. This calculation goes beyond basic mean time to failure (MTTF) to consider any failures that may result in severe harm to personnel, environment or equipment.


  • - A B10d evaluation must be performed on all safety components. B10d is the number of operating cycles after which ten percent of components will have failed dangerously, and it forms part of the MTTFd calculation.


  • - The diagnostic coverage (DC) must be evaluated for all safety components. This is a calculation of the system’s ability to detect and diagnose possible issues as they arise.


  • - Safety components must be evaluated for common causes of failure. Even if a particular component isn’t defective, its normal lifespan and possible method of breakdown must be precisely understood, as all components will break down eventually.


  • - Consideration must be given to all external influences and environmental conditions that could cause a systematic failure. Many manufacturing facilities present harsh conditions that can cause components to fail prematurely, and these factors must be precisely understood.


  • - The safety category and performance level (PL) must be determined according to ISO 13849-1 and the safety integrity level (SIL) according to IEC/EN 62061-1. These standards present specific requirements for safety systems in which various levels of hazards are present.


The general goal of the requirements for safety-rated components is to ensure that their eventual degradation happens in a predictable and fully understood way and that they “fail to safe” – meaning that any loss of functionality on their part will put hazardous machinery into a safe state by inhibiting its function.

It’s important to note that if you choose to implement a standard component as part of a safety system, then you must assume all the risk associated with it. Most likely, the component hasn’t undergone the extensive testing and validation that would have been performed on a safety-rated component. It then falls upon you to do this testing, which can take a lot of time.

Safety-rated components are validated by third parties (such as TÜV Rheinland) to ensure that they are in compliance with the above requirements. The manufacturer of the components is then responsible for communicating all specifications to the end-user. For this reason, it’s never a good idea to replace a safety-rated component with a standard one.

We can help you comply with international safety standards! Check out our wide-ranging portfolio of safety-rated products that include emergency stop devices, forcibly guided relays, safety door switches and more.

Editor's Pick: Featured Product News


The new TXLN line comprises a series of metal enclosed AC/DC power supplies ranging from 18 to 960 Watt (split into 12 different power levels) and is designed for a wide range of industrial applications. The TXLN is an active replacement of the older TXL line and is built on the same design principals to make the transition to the new TXLN series as easy as possible. The model selection includes single, dual as well as triple output solutions to cover different applications requirements.

With a low-profile metal case and screw terminal block connection, they are easy to install in any equipment. Up to the 200 Watt models the TXLN power supplies are completely convection cooled and from 320 Watt and above they come with an internal fan. Above 100 Watt an active PFC (>0.95) function is added to the standard feature pool. All models in the TXLN line have universal input and comply with the latest industrial standard IEC/EN/UL 62368-1, European EMC standards and the Low Voltage Directive (LVD).

Read More


Sponsored Content

Io Audio Technologies: JL and JLX Chassis Connectors


 Io Audio Technologies JL and JLX Series XLR chassis connectors are perfect for high-noise environments like permanent installations or design-in applications where the termination method is solder cups. Options of different finishing’s, 3, 4, or 5 pins, male or female, and vertical or horizontal PCB mounting are available.

Learn more HERE.




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Data acquisition, data logging and data analysis are required functions for most modern industrial control systems. The simplest and lowest cost way to provide these functions is often by using the same platform that’s providing real-time control—namely the PLC or the programmable automation controller (PAC).

A few years ago, this wasn’t possible as PLCs lacked the required processing power and data storage capability. But more powerful PLCs and the evolution of PACs has made it possible to perform many data acquisition tasks within the controller—saving money and providing an overall simpler system.

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Digitally Transform Your Switchgear


Eaton’s Magnum circuit breakers with Power Xpert Release trip units enable system innovation by integrating connected devices, actionable data, and facility insights into your power distribution assembly

Watch the video and read more HERE.





Article Feature - Monthly Industry Focus


binder offers connectors with D-coding in the M8 form factor as part of its 818 product series. The products are ideal for Industrial Ethernet applications with communication protocols such as EtherCAT, EtherNet/IP or PROFINET according to IEEE 802.3 via twisted-pair cables of the Cat-5e category. Accordingly, the 4-pin connectors enable the network connection of actuators and sensors of particularly small size with data rates of up to 100 Mbit/s.

Optimized for space-saving industrial sensor installations

Today, high-bandwidth Ethernet connectivity, beyond the field level and into the corporate data infrastructure, is a core component of automated processes in all branches of industry. In the Ethernet communication of modern production facilities, for example in drives control, properties such as clock synchronism, real-time capability and determinism, but also reliability and robustness are in demand. Use cases in such environments place special demands on the connection technology, both from a technological and an economic point of view. Connectivity solutions should be designed to be variable and scalable, and above all support users in machine and plant engineering in saving space and time during installation. In addition, secure locking and protection categories appropriate to the field of application are required. M8 circular connectors with screw locking, in accordance with the DIN EN 61076-2-114 standard, are optimized for such application conditions. Here, the M8 form factor in particular has proven itself in installations where space is critical; the use with miniaturized sensors is exemplary for this area of application.

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Sponsored Content

Sealevel Announces the HazPAC 10 Rugged Panel PC for Hazardous Environments


Sealevel Systems, Inc. announces the HazPAC10 Rugged Panel PC. Designed for Windows 10 IoT Embedded, the HazPAC 10 delivers powerful Intel processing combined with a bright, LCD, five-wire resistive touchscreen. The HazPAC 10 features a fanless industrial computer with a wide -40°C to 60°C operating temperature. And for the most intense environments, the HazPAC 10 has a NEMA 4/IP64 front bezel and is certified by ATEX, IECEx, and for Class I, Division 2 (Groups A, B, C, D, T4).

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