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Market survey in the German machinery industry about servo use until 2016

Integrated safety engineering with servo drives at machines until 2016

To which extent integrated safety engineering at servo-drives is used and which safety functions are preferred reveals the market survey from Quest TechnoMarketing about the future of the servo use until 2016 in the German machinery industry.

Over 80% of servo users will employ safety engineering until 2016

September 9th, 2015 - 82% of the servo drive users among the machine-builders will use integrated safety functions in 2016. This proportion already stood at 72% in 2013.

Servo drive users with integrated safety functions show a clear focus on certain sectors. The half of them will come in 2016 from the three sectors packaging machines (21%), rubber and plastics machines (14%) and machine tools (14%).

Further 10% of the servo drive users with integrated safety functions are busy in printing and paper handling machines. Six sectors will show shares of less than 10%, i.e. robotics and automation (9%), wood processing and textile machines with 8% each and food processing machines, building/glass/ceramic machines and conveyer with 6% each.

Until 2016 72% of all servo drives will be equipped with integrated safety engineering. In 2013 this share indicated to scarcely two thirds (64%). The increased market share points to a very strong growth of integrated safety functions with servo drives by over 50%. That is why the number of servo drives will rise from 2013 to 2016 by 36%.

Different ways of safety engineering's implemenation

These growth tendencies are based on different ways of implementation and partly different opinions.

One machine-builder gets the benefit of integrated safety engineering to the point:      


  • „Still no experience, now for the first time requested by customers. The benefit is that we can save much wiring work. That in turn also saves much work time.“ (Building/glass/ceramic machines)

Other statements stress the environment of the machine automation.


  • „One needs more and more safety in the converter by the request for distributed construction. So it is no longer possible to make something outside of the converter because everything will run via the safety bus. However, all safety functions must be completely integrated, the converters may not use variant functions. The idea is that the converter is so comprehensively designed that one can adjust the safety level only by means of software or switches, depending on the safety level the converters are operating.“ (Conveyer)
  • „So far not yet implemented because of the number of axes. Profisafe provides max. 30 axes for one line while we need more axes.“ (Rubber/plastics machines)
  • „The safety functions are already integrated into the control system by Siemens via “safety integrated”. (Machine tools)  

Integrated safety engineering may also be integrated into the system but not into the servo drives.


  • „We integrated the safety engineering into the system, not into the servo drive. A separate hardware device from DINA monitors the encoder cables providing the safety functions. This kind of safety engineering does not have to be programmed, but is adjusted only via Dip switches. It operates independently from the inserted servo make. So it is possible to implement safety engineering even in systems that will be installed in less developed countries.“ (Packaging machines)

Partly machine-builders stress that the servo manufacturers are not yet so far.

  • „One would like to use integrated safety engineering with all servo drives, but it is not possible with all manufacturers or together with the used field buses. At a guess with 75% of the servo drives integrated safety engineering can be used.“ (Robotics and automation)

Finally the use of integrated safety engineering is seen critical regarding costs aspect.


  • „We would also use different safety functions if they were available without additional costs. We do not buy servo drives, which are more expensive, only because safety functions are integrated.“ (Food processing machines)

Which safety functions machine-builders will use until 2016?

The ranking in the use of safety functions until 2016

The diagram indicates the user shares of the safety functions with the servo drive until 2016.



Integrated safety functions with servo drives in the German machinery industry until 2016.

The first four of the safety functions, half of the eight listed functions, will thus be used by two thirds (67%) of the servo drive users until 2016.

The representative market survey is based on interviews with 28% of the machine-builders in ten sectors of the machinery industry with 100 and more employees.