exida explains Blog

Back to Basics 14 - Systematic Capability

Back to Basics 14 - Systematic Capability

Systematic Capability is achieved when the equipment used to implement any safety function is designed using procedures intended to prevent systematic design errors.  The rigor of the required procedure is a function of a Safety Integrity Level (SIL). This is evaluated through an assessment of the quality management system…

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Let’s Talk About Configuration Management and ISO 26262

Let’s Talk About Configuration Management and ISO 26262

Most software developers are familiar with the need for and benefits of change control. Usually change control means one thing to a software developer and that is 'commits' to a source code revision control system. Not only do small and regular commits provide significant advantages to large teams of…

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Do You Really Know What You Know (When it Comes to Functional Safety)?

Do You Really Know What You Know (When it Comes to Functional Safety)?

You don’t’ really know what you know until you have to explain it (or teach it) to someone else. 

When I’m asked about some of the technical aspects of functional safety, I have to stop and ask myself “What Do I Know About This?”  I’m not the kind…

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Back to Basics 13 - How Do I Start IEC 61508 Certification?

Back to Basics 13 - How Do I Start IEC 61508 Certification?

Do you want to know more about IEC 61508 certification, but you’re not sure if you are ready to jump in? Don’t worry, we will make this process as painless as possible.

Here is what to expect:

  1. Introduce Scope
  2. Kickoff Meeting
  3. Perform FMEDA on Product
  4. Creation of…

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Building Cybersecurity into Software Applications

Building Cybersecurity into Software Applications

An April 2019 report from the Institute of Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT) makes the point that even though software ‘runs the world’, software security is an afterthought across virtually all industries. 

The report states that this lack of software security is actually a National Threat given that this…

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Back to Basics 12 –  What is IEC 61508 Certification?

Back to Basics 12 –  What is IEC 61508 Certification?

IEC 61508 Certification is a Third-Party Validation against the standard’s requirements, comprising of:

  • Detailed Analysis of engineering processes to determine Systematic Capability and Cybersecurity Strength 
  • Detailed Analysis of hardware design / design margins resulting in Random Failure Rate in all failure modes
  • Analysis/Testing to show safe, correct operation and Cybersecurity Susceptibility

To achieve an…

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When is an Alarm not an Alarm?

When is an Alarm not an Alarm?

The ISA-18.2 and IEC 62682 standards define an alarm as an “audible and/or visible means of indicating to the operator an equipment malfunction, process deviation, or abnormal condition requiring a timely response”.  One of the reasons why alarm systems are out of control (alarm overload, nuisance alarms)…

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Back to Basics 11 – How is SIL Used by an End User?

Back to Basics 11 – How is SIL Used by an End User?

IEC62443 - Learning Cybersecurity (Prevention Techniques)

IEC62443 - Learning Cybersecurity (Prevention Techniques)

Last Saturday, I read an article about hackers who were behind at least two potentially fatal intrusions on oil and gas industrial facilities (Yes I read cyber articles on the weekend wink). Besides the fact that I enjoy learning about cybersecurity on my…

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Back to Basics 10 – How Does a Product Get a SIL?

Back to Basics 10 – How Does a Product Get a SIL?

IEC 61508 functional safety standard indicates Safety Integrity Levels (SIL) needs to be evaluated by three design barriers:

  • The Systematic Capability Rating
  • The Architectural Constraints for the Element
  • The Probability of Failure for the Product

What Makes a SIL?

Systematic Capability is achieved when the equipment…

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SCRUM and IEC 62443

SCRUM and IEC 62443

Information Technology (IT) is the personnel, hardware, and software that controls non-physical devices and/or processes such as websites, financial data, personal information, etc. 

Operation Technology (OT) is the personnel, hardware, and software that controls physical devices and/or processes such as manufacturing, oil & gas, power, etc.  Today, OT has many…

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Back to Basics 09 – Safety Lifecycle – IEC 61511

Back to Basics 09 – Safety Lifecycle – IEC 61511

The IEC 61511 standard recommends the use of a functional safety lifecycle. Any safety lifecycle can be used, but the standard lays out a process which can be divided into three main classifications as an example. 

The lifecycle is set up like this: 

  1. Analyze the situation and document…

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Duty of Care (Too Good to Be True Failure Rate Data)

Duty of Care (Too Good to Be True Failure Rate Data)

I have received several calls lately to our Australia / New Zealand office about whether it is acceptable to use published failure rates that seem too good to be true.

The person calling is usually doing a SIL verification calculation for an operating plant or for an…

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Back to Basics 08 – IEC 61511

Back to Basics 08 – IEC 61511

IEC 61511: 2016 Process Industry Sector

IEC 61511 is a technical standard that sets out practices in the engineering of systems that ensure the safety of an industrial process through the use of instrumentation. It entails requirements for users of process control and instrumentation for component / element or sub-system safety.…

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Back to Basics 07– Safety Lifecycle – IEC 61508

Back to Basics 07– Safety Lifecycle – IEC 61508

The IEC 61508 standard recommends the use of a functional safety lifecycle. Any safety lifecycle can be used, but the standard does lay out a nominal 16-step process which can be divided into three main classifications as an example. 

The Analysis phase of the lifecycle deals with gathering background…

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