exida explains Blog

Are Collaborative Robots Inherently Safe?

Are Collaborative Robots Inherently Safe?

No! They are not Inherently Safe!

A collaborative robot is intended to work “collaboratively” with a person. i.e. share a common workspace. It is force and speed limited by design to minimize any potential hazard. Collaborative robots fit the application where the task cannot be easily or cost effectively…

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The Undetected Detective; PVST

The Undetected Detective; PVST

Have you ever wondered why some dangerous failures are classified as undetected and others are classified as detective?  Aren’t dangerous failures all dangerous? Why do we classify them differently?

Let's say we have a plant that is running in normal operation mode and the system needs to trip. The…

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Industrial Robots – Easy Pickings!

Industrial Robots – Easy Pickings!

As robots populate factories and plants around the world at a brisk pace, security and safety are often overlooked. Numerous vulnerabilities plague industrial robots as seen in automotive assembly or autonomous transporters (found in larges on-line retailers that tout  efficient warehouse fulfillment operations.) Not to be forgotten, Cobots (Collaborative…

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Human Factors in Alarm Management

Human Factors in Alarm Management

Question:

Which one of these layers of protection (operator response to alarm, relief valves, dikes, and safety instrumented systems) is not like the other? 

Answer:

Operator response to alarm (Operator Intervention), because of the “Human” factor.

It is very difficult to calculate the probability…

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What do you need to know about traceability for IEC 61508?

What do you need to know about traceability for IEC 61508?

Traceability is about connecting the dots to determine that the web of activities for a functional safety project have followed the proper paths.  Think of it like cheating at hide-n-seek; it provides a shortcut to find all those requirements and design parts that are hidden in your specification documents. …

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Random versus Systematic Faults: What’s the difference?

Random versus Systematic Faults: What’s the difference?

I saw and responded to a LinkedIn discussion on this very issue, where someone had asked “if I have a misaligned limit switch that fails dangerously, then is it random or systematic? “.  This is an intriguing question because many view human error as being systematic and, whereas, this…

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Cloud Robotics – Safe & Secure?

Cloud Robotics – Safe & Secure?

Cloud computing, huge potential! That’s what the automation, automotive, and robotics industries are all excited about.

So, what is cloud computing and how does it affect safety?

Cloud computing utilizes servers on the internet to process, store and manage data. There is a much longer NIST definition

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Contractor Cybersecurity Training - Why Do You Need It?

Contractor Cybersecurity Training - Why Do You Need It?

Today, we are going to talk a little bit about Contractor Cyber Training.  What's in a good contractor cyber training course?  Why do you need one?  Why aren't policies, practices, and contract language enough?

Today's operators of industrial production facilities frequently utilize contract…

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Why Proof Test Coverage Is So Important For A SIF to Achieve Its Target SIL?

Why Proof Test Coverage Is So Important For A SIF to Achieve Its Target SIL?

This is a question I often get asked when I’m teaching our FSE100 course on Functional Safety, when we discuss the purpose of Proof Testing and coverage.  It’s amazing how many end users assume perfect proof testing (i.e. 100% coverage), that is capable of finding, all the…

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Alarm Management and the Great American Solar Eclipse

Alarm Management and the Great American Solar Eclipse

Throughout history, total solar eclipses have been a significant event. In primitive societies, eclipses were viewed with fear or as important omens. In the US, the upcoming “Great American Solar Eclipse” is creating much excitement. From buying “official” eclipse-viewing glasses, to paying $1500 or more…

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IEC 61508 Functional Safety Certificates - To Accept or not to Accept?

IEC 61508 Functional Safety Certificates - To Accept or not to Accept?

I get an email that includes a “certificate” of some sort most every week.  The sender asks “Can I accept this certificate?”  Or the sender might ask “Are these failure rates valid for the process industries?” 

At exida we have some specific criteria we use when performing third party…

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Outer Banks: How Could This Massive Power Outage Happen?

Outer Banks: How Could This Massive Power Outage Happen?

I, like many others, was stunned to hear that there was a major power outage covering the Outer Banks. Being an engineer, my instincts were to immediately investigate what happened and what steps occurred to lead to that point. Even before I did research, my mind was already asking…

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Making the Most of Customer Feedback

Making the Most of Customer Feedback

Your organization gets information, feedback, and requests from customers all the time.  It’s up to you to do some preliminary analysis and determine what the customer really wants.  Do they want to buy something?  Do they want to complain about something?  Do they have a need for which no…

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exida Cyber Blog Series 04 - Cybersecurity Metrics, Diagnostics, and Alarms: What’s What?

exida Cyber Blog Series 04 - Cybersecurity Metrics, Diagnostics, and Alarms: What’s What?

Co-written by Todd Stauffer, Director of Alarm Management Services at exida

A wise man once said, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Let's apply this to the world of cybersecurity to discuss the importance of cybersecurity metrics and how they are different from a cyber diagnostic and a…

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IEC 61508 is flexible, but is it Agile?

IEC 61508 is flexible, but is it Agile?

Agile development is a much better fit with IEC 61508 compliant software development than one might think at first blush.

Agile is not a methodology but rather a set of values and principles stated in the Agile manifesto. These principles are designed to force introspection and reflection…

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