Redundant Link Supports Maximum Plant Availability


24-11-2009 - Redundant Link between HIMax and HIMatrix systems

HIMA announced that an embedded feature within its HIMax® and HIMatrix® systems enables customers to easily and quickly create redundant links between the systems to support application high availability on demand and fast reaction time. These redundant links are in addition to single communications links already possible via HIMA's safeethernet protocol.

Redundant links between the primary safety system (HIMax) and decentralized safety controllers (HIMatrix) are an important safety and productivity safeguard.

"Creating a physical redundant link between the HIMax system and HIMatrix PES can be done without additional hardware or extra infrastructure," says HIMA Product Manager Stefan Ditting. "This means less expense for operators because there is less engineering required and little or no wiring involved."

Typically, redundant links are established with switches and a ring manager, which can create more cost, complexity and risk for error. Besides introducing a single point of failure, this approach can lead to a connection being interrupted for as long as 30 to 500 milliseconds. With safety PLCs, that interruption could lead to increased reaction time for the safety application or a shutdown and associated loss of production.

An operator can create a redundant link to HIMatrix systems via
HIMax CPU and/or HIMax communication modules. If one infrastructure component fails, the message is accepted on the redundant path, ensuring high availability and fast reaction time for the safety application.

“Another benefit of HIMA's approach is the additional flexibility of using different media such as Twisted Pair, fibre optics and SHDSL," adds Ditting.
Introduced in 2008, HIMax is the first safety system designed to provide uninterrupted system operation throughout the entire life of the plant while maximizing plant availability, productivity and safety. HIMatrix safety-related controllers and remote I/O modules are ideal for applications with just a few I/O points and especially for networked and time-critical applications.