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Entries tagged with: John Yozallinas

(Almost) FREE Security Training

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is tasked with many things. One area of focus is Industrial Control Systems (ICS). The Industrial Control Systems Joint Working Group (ICSJWG) was formed to facilitate this focus. This group holds semi-annual conferences (Spring and Fall) in various US cities. These meetings…

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  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Tuesday, December 17, 2013
  • Certification

12 Days of Christmas: Safety Edition

What’s on your Christmas list?  Instead of relying on Santa, here are some gifts you can expect from a SIL 3 compliant process:

  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Thursday, February 23, 2012
  • Certification

7 Ways to Keep your Auditor Happy

1. Name your files to make auditing easier; a filename with cryptic job numbers and abbreviations that are used within the company may not be easily understood or cataloged by an auditor

2. Give the auditor the ‘secret decoder ring’ for cryptic company acronyms and abbreviations

3. Have clear…

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A Bug (Free) Life

A Bug (Free) Life

Can we really ship a bug-free product? That’s a tough question to answer.  Bugs originate in many places and not all bugs are the same severity.  But you can’t control what you don’t measure.  If you log and classify defects, and control the way changes are made, there may…

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Are We Done Yet?

Are We Done Yet?

We all know when we’re finished with the product development cycle; it’s printed in a little box on the project schedule Gantt chart.  The end of July… right there on the schedule, and it’s been there since the project inception.  So what happens when you reach 31-July and your…

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  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Thursday, August 16, 2012
  • Certification

Are You Going for Gold in Safety?

Olympic athletes don’t wake up one day and decide to compete in the Olympics.  They don’t arrive at the games by chance or coincidence.  Their journey starts long before the games begin. They are often influenced and inspired by watching others or by their own interests.  They may begin…

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Back in the Old Days

Back in the Old Days

Some time ago, I was involved with embedded software projects using microprocessors that had limited memory, speed, and I/O resources.  All embedded programming was in assembly code.  All memory variables were global; it was too hard to keep track of stack variables.  The hardware design assumed that any technical…

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Back to the Future?

Back to the Future?

At 7am, my personal robot (I call him ‘Jake’) turns on the bedroom lights to 50% brightness and waits for my body to recognize the onset of morning.  If I take longer than 5 minutes, Jake will begin to play some soft music.  This is usually enough to get…

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Building a Foundation for an IEC 61508 Development Process

Building a Foundation for an IEC 61508 Development Process

There are organizations that are small enough to follow an informal or even undocumented process and still produce a product of sufficient quality to meet market needs.  When these organizations attempt to develop a safety product, they inevitably fall short of meeting the requirements of IEC 61508.  A formalized…

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Certification and the Environmental Test
  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Tuesday, August 18, 2015
  • Certification

Certification and the Environmental Test

Functional Safety Assessments (FSA) focus on the relevant functional safety standards that are to be applied to a product in the appropriate industry.  These are standards such as IEC 61511 in the process automation industry, or ISO 26262 in the automotive industry.  And IEC 61508 is like an umbrella…

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  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Thursday, October 30, 2014
  • Certification

Coming Apart at the Seams

Does your safety development process have a split personality?  Do you “talk-the-talk but not walk-the-walk?”  When crunch time comes for project completion, does the mantra “whatever it takes” matter more than following the process?  Does your process peel away at the seams?

Getting buy-in to a rigorous process for…

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Competency: Cutting Corners?
  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Wednesday, April 01, 2015
  • Certification

Competency: Cutting Corners?

Let’s turn our attention to home remodeling projects for a minute… literally cutting corners.

Most people are familiar with trim molding (baseboard and chair rail).  Laying out the trim on long flat surfaces is pretty easy: measure, cut, nail, paint… done.  Ok, sometimes it goes: measure, cut, measure again,…

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  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Thursday, December 12, 2013
  • Certification

Developing a Functional Safety Product: What You Need to Know

Thinking about developing a safety product?  Use these 3 steps as a starting point:

1. Know thyself

Do you have documented development processes that govern how you develop a product from start to finish?  If not, start by writing down what is actually being done.  Interview the people…

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Don’t ignore the operator when searching for root cause

Something was wrong with our washing machine.  The wash cycle was longer than normal.  The problem seemed intermittent at first, but then it became persistent across all wash cycles.  Preliminary investigation revealed the cycle got stuck on spin.  Now, I am normally not allowed to operate the washer with…

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Fire, Aim, Ready!

There is usually a natural order to things. But there are times when the natural order gets disrupted, and this could be for any number of reasons:  we get busy, overloaded with tasks or information, tired, complacent, etc.  But when you think about it, most of the excuses we…

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Functional Safety Evolution

Functional Safety Evolution

Protection systems have been around for a long time, going back to having a canary in the mine, and throughout the Industrial Revolution; so they are not a new thing.  Various stakeholders were involved in business enterprises: owners, suppliers, consumers, community members, and workers. Usually the business owners held…

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How does CMMI help my safety assessment?

We have CMMI processes at CL3; does that help us get IEC 61508 certification for SIL 3?

Companies that deliver a product or service do so by following a sequence of processes.  High quality deliverables are a result of high quality processes and continuous improvement in…

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I Know My Requirements. Now What?

I Know My Requirements. Now What?

If you’ve written your new product requirements, you probably understand exactly what they mean.  But will the other people on your project team?  You also probably understand that some unwritten requirements must also be met. They’re just common sense and everyone knows what they are. 

What about that new…

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IF COMPUTERS RULED THE WORLD…

IF COMPUTERS RULED THE WORLD…

What if the best minds of the world got together to generate the optimum requirements specification for human co-habitation?  And built it into one large decision matrix to run on the best super-computers?

Decisions would be made solely on objective criteria; no mental arbitration, no skipping steps, no checking…

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If There Was ONE THING to Know About Functional Safety

Formalize your process.

Companies often have a pretty good hardware development process in place, dealing with electrical and mechanical drawings, bills of material, and the factory floor interface.  Most of these processes are in place so the manufacturing department knows what to make and how to put it together. …

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