SAFECONF Tutorial: Programming a TRISAFE-S Device

SAFECONF Tutorial: Programming a TRISAFE-S Device

Want to use SAFECONF to program your TRISAFE-S Phoenix Contact Safety Module? Luckily, this free software (available to registered users here), is intuitive and easy to use for even beginner automation programmers. Below is a guide to performing some key tasks using the software.

In order to make this Tutorial easer to navigate, I've included quick links below to jump straight to your topic of interest:

  1. Create a New Project
  2. Create your Password
  3. Configure your I/O
    1. Redundant Pairs
    2. Cross Circuit Detection
    3. Ground Switching Output
  4. Adding Block Logic
    1. Safe vs. Standard Logic
    2. Checking your Project
  5. Project Security
    1. Log On and Off
    2. Locking and Certifying
  6. Commissioning
    1. Log On to TRISAFE-S Module
    2. Download to TRISAFE-S Module
    3. Upload from TRISAFE-S Module
    4. Monitor Online Values
    5. Force Values

Create a New Project

When you start a new SAFECONF project, the application will automatically launch the project wizard, which will walk you through the steps to create your project. To create a new project:

1. Define your project name and path

safeconf trisafe-s module


2. Select your Master Device (in our case, the PSR-TRISAFE-S)

safeconf trisafe-s module


Create a Password

SAFECONF projects must be password protected, and only users with the project password will be able to modify the project. Once you’ve created a new project, you will be prompted to create a 6-10 character password for it. 

safeconf trisafe-s module


Configure your I/O

The hardware editor of the SAFECONF application allows users to visualize and modify their projects’ hardware configurations. The TRISAFE-S Phoenix Contact Module includes 20 inputs (I0-I19), 4 safe outputs (O0-O3), and 4 standard outputs (M0-M3). I’ll discuss the difference between safe and standard outputs in more detail in the SAFE vs STANDARD Logic section.


Redundant Pairs

By default, the inputs of the TRISAFE-S module are configured together in redundant pairs. If you want to understand the inputs separately, you will need to separate them in the hardware configuration. You can do this by right clicking on the paired input (red connection symbol) and clicking “separate signals”.


safeconf trisafe-s module


To group inputs that are separated, click on either input in the pair, and select “Link Signals”.

safeconf trisafe-s module


Cross Circuit Detection

SAFECONF allows users to configure detection of cross circuits (unexpected connections between redundant circuits). This is done using two clock outputs provided on the TRISAFE-S Module: T0 and T1. These signals pulse at different frequencies, so users can detect cross circuits by wiring each input of the redundant pair into circuit with T0 and T1, respectively. An input configured for cross circuit detection will only appear as TRUE if it pulses with its configured test pulse.


safeconf trisafe-s module cross circuit detection

Figure from SAFECONF 2.92 Device Parameterization Help Guide


To configure which of your input signals should have cross circuit detection, Right Click on your Hardware Editor, and Select “Safe Parameter…”. In the Window that appears, you can select from the drop down next to each input whether it should have cross circuit detection or not. “Even” inputs (I0,I2,I4..) can only be configured with test pulse T0, and “odd” inputs can only be configured with T1. 

safeconf trisafe-s module


Ground Switching Output

TRISAFE-S modules offer two ground switching outputs, which can be used with Outputs O0 and O1 to assist in shutting down a single-channel application. Outputs configured for Ground Switching will cause their specified ground switching outputs to switch in addition to the outputs themselves. Users can configure outputs for Ground Switching by Right Clicking on the Output in the Hardware Editor and selecting “Safe Parameter…”. In the Window that appears, you can select from the drop down next to the Output whether it should have Ground Switching configured or not.

safeconf trisafe-s module ground switching output


Adding Block Logic

Adding block logic to your SAFECONF project is as simple as dragging functions/constants and I/O from the Tool Box and Hardware Editor, respectively, into the Safety Network of your project. Then, you can link objects together by clicking and dragging between two terminals.

.safeconf trisafe-s module tool box safety network hardware editor



In SAFECONF, functions and variables are considered SAFE or STANDARD. All inputs (even unpaired ones) are considered safe. TRISAFE-S Outputs (O0-O3) are SAFE, and Monitoring Signals (M0-M3) are STANDARD.

The program represents Safe logic using the color Yellow and Standard logic using Gray. SAFECONF contains many functions in both the Safe and Standard implementations, including the On Delay Timer in the image below. SAFECONF also contains both Standard and Safe constants.

Once Safe logic passes through a Standard function block, the output is considered Standard. Standard logic cannot be wired into Safe blocks or Safe outputs (O0-O3). Standard or Safe logic can both be wired into Standard outputs M0-M3.

safeconf trisafe-s module


Checking your Project

Before users can Certify or Download their projects (both explained later), they need to successfully check them. Checking a project ensures that the program compiles properly. Users can check their project by selecting the Check icon from the project ribbon. The application will then verify each step and inform the user whether the Check was successful or not.

safeconf trisafe-s module check project

safeconf trisafe-s module verifying


Log On and Off

Users must Log On to a project in order to edit it, and users can Log Off of a project to prevent undesired changes. Log On and Log Off commands are located in the “Project” tab. Users will need to enter the project password in order to Log On.


safeconf trisafe-s module logon



Locking and Certifying

When users want to lock out a Safety Network from editing, they can use the Top Ribbon Interface to lock it. Users can do this by clicking on the work-mode pencil icon, or right clicking the ribbon and selecting “lock”.

safeconf trisafe-s module lock project

In the locked Mode, users will not be able to edit the project. Users can Certify the project by clicking on the Locked Mode icon, or by right clicking the network ribbon and selecting “Certified”. A project needs to be checked before it can be Certified.

safeconf trisafe-s module certified

Certified projects are stamped with the date/time of certification, as well as the account name of the PC’s user. Certified projects indicate that the certifying user has declared the project logic Safe to the standards specified by the project.

Users can move the project back into editing mode by clicking the Stamp Icon, or right clicking on the ribbon and de-selecting Certified. The program will prompt the user to OK the decertification.

safeconf trisafe-s module edit


Log On to a TRISAFE-S Module

Users can connect their PCs to the TRISAFE-S module using a USB mini cable (see below).

safeconf log on trisafe-s

Just as SAFECONF projects are password protected, and users must Log On to edit them, so are the modules themselves password protected. Once connected to the TRISAFE-S module, users can Log On using the module’s password. If module is currently running a SAFECONF project, the module’s password will be the same as that of the project. If you don’t know your module’s password, you can Set to Factory Default in order to download your project to it, after which its password will be the same as that of your project. All of these options are located under the “Safe PLC” tab.

safeconf trisafe-s module Log On



Download to a TRISAFE-S Module

Users who are Logged On to a safety module can download their project to it using the Download icon (in red below).

safeconf trisafe-s module download

Once the program finishes loading onto the module, users will need to confirm the program by using a narrow object (toothpick, small screwdriver, etc.) to press in the “Confirm” button on the module (in red below). Then, click OK on the SAFECONF popup, and the module will run the program you’ve just loaded to it.

safeconf trisafe-s download safeconf trisafe-s download


Upload from a TRISAFE-S Module

Users can upload a project from a TRISAFE-S safety module by pressing the upload button of the top ribbon (in red). Users do not need to be logged in to a module in order to upload its program.

safeconf trisafe-s module


Monitor Online Values

If users are online with a TRISAFE-S Safety Module and the project loaded onto the safety module is the same program open in the SAFECONF application, users can Go Online with the module to monitor program values in real-time. Users can do that by selecting the Show Online Values button (in red below) in the SAFECONF ribbon.

safeconf trisafe-s module Go Online

Then, the program display will update to show real-time values of program variables.

safeconf trisafe-s module


Force Values in Commissioning Mode

Users who are logged on to a TRISAFE-S Module can enter Commissioning Mode to Force values. To force values, enter Commissioning Mode (SAFE PLC->Commissioning). 

safeconf trisafe-s module Commissioning


Then, users can right click on a value in order to force it TRUE or FALSE.


safeconf trisafe-s download force  safeconf trisafe-s download force



With this tutorial, you should have all the tools to get started with programming and commissioning your TRISAFE-S Safety Module using SAFECONF software. This intuitive and free application should help make programming your machine's Safety Controls an approachable task for engineers of all experience levels. Good luck!

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