exida explains Blog

  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Thursday, April 28, 2011
  • Certification

What is So Important About Derating?

Some designs push their operating specifications right up to the limit of the components in the system or device.  (let’s not talk about the designs that try to spec a limit that is beyond the capability of one or more components… phooey on them!)  And if you make a…

Read More...

Lifecycle Analysis: It’s Worth the Effort

Functional Safety and Taxes: Are you an expert?

Today, April 15th, is tax-day in the US.  Ok, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has given us a few extra days this year (the tax filing deadline is not until April 18th).

There are a lot of similarities between how you do your taxes and how you handle…

Read More...

  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Thursday, April 14, 2011
  • Certification

Stepping stones to SIL 3

Imagine.  Marketing has just approached the engineering department and says your new safety product must have SIL 3 Capable certification instead of SIL 2 to be successful.  You are in the engineering group developing this new product.  Now what?

Let’s assume that the “change request” makes…

Read More...

Driving with Blinders

Imagine: An automobile that has only one window in the front.  No side windows. The driver can see to steer the auto forward and turn, but cannot see completely from side to side.  What happens when the driver reaches an intersection with no traffic lights? The driver cannot see…

Read More...

Certified to SIL 4 - Cycle Test Failure Data is Dangerous

I got a copy of the IEC 61508 certificate for a solenoid valve today from an engineer who thought something was wrong.  Although the certificate was from a well known certification company, the certificate gave a “Dangerous Failure Rate” of 1.7 FITS (1.7 * 10-9 failures per…

Read More...

What’s the Risk?

As safety professionals, it is our duty to attempt to educate and explain to the public.  Perhaps the biggest challenge is to explain the concept of risk.  Many times after an accident we have heard a politician say something like “We will do whatever it takes to make sure…

Read More...

A look into the control room of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Unit 2 reactor!

I came across an interesting blog post the other day…

Talk about operating blind.  A great picture shows the status of the control room in the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Unit 2 reactor…Nothing is working (besides the lights)!

All of the computer monitors are blank. The clock…

Read More...

Rationalize Your Alarm Management Problems Away

Alarm Overload…Nuisance Alarms…Alarm Floods…Incorrectly Prioritized Alarms…. These alarm management problems are all too common in the modern Distributed Control System (DCS).

Why is this?  In the “olden” days (read panel boards and alarm lightboxes), there was considerable thought put into what alarms were necessary because there was limited real…

Read More...

The Real Impact of Stuxnet

Stuxnet has, rightly, generated a significant amount of discussion and concern with the industrial automation community.  Fortunately, unless you operate a uranium enrichment facility using Siemens S7 PLC’s and some very specific variable frequency drives (VFDs) you probably haven’t been directly impacted by the Stuxnet…

Read More...

  • by Dr. William Goble, CFSE
  • Tuesday, March 08, 2011
  • Certification

Counterfeit Certificate!

I am told that plagiarism is a compliment. Since exida is the leading company for IEC 61508 certifications I suppose it was bound to happen. Well it did. exida got an email from our sales representative in China. He asked why this certificate was not listed on the…

Read More...

  • by Dr. William Goble, CFSE
  • Friday, March 04, 2011
  • Certification

Tales from the Certification Wars - Who certifies the certification agency?

I have often heard the question “Who says they can issue a certification?”  This is often accompanied by “Why can’t I certify my own product?”  “Who knows our design better than we do?” Good questions.

The IEC 61508 standard does not require certified products for Functional Safety. …

Read More...