Functional safety concepts in motor control

March 23, 2006
The approach for addressing functional safety of embedded software dependent motion controls is becoming a growing concern as programmable components replace traditional electromechanical components in safety-related systems.
By Anura Fernando, Underwriters Laboratories Inc.

While many debate the pedagogical concerns regarding software complexity and reliability, it is undeniable that the motor control industry is moving forward to capitalize upon the flexibility and low apparent cost of utilizing embedded software.

While some fundamental philosophical differences may exist among emerging standards, there are also many similarities that demonstrate the universality of the present approach to software verification and validation activities (V&V) with respect to functional safety of motor control systems.