Since the announcement of the 1st Annual exida Safety Awards program a few weeks ago I have received a few questions and a challenge. The questions from manufacturers mainly focused on how to enter their product and what is the criteria. The questions from end users primarily asked how to nominate a certain product. Good questions. A group of exida assessors will judge the nominated products using the following criteria:
- Must hold a valid exida certification
- A new and/or novel technology that will benefit/improve safety
- A new and/or novel technology that will benefit/improve application of IEC 61508
- Must be certified per IEC 61508: 2010
- Must have market release by 12/31/13
The challenge was also framed as a question: “How can exida judge advancements in safety?” As a Certification Body, exida studies each product in detail. An assessor looks at the following:
- Design process
- Testing process
- Field failure records
- Safety documentation provided to the user of the product
A detailed FMEDA is then done per the specified environmental limits to determine the failure rates and failure modes. When this detailed understanding of a product is achieved, it becomes pretty clear how the manufacturer has achieved the necessary level of safety integrity. Since our assessors have assessed hundreds of products, it also becomes clear when advancements are made - although there can be some arguments as to what constitutes such advancements and that is a good thing.
The purpose of the exida Safety Awards is to recognize exceptional work and encourage manufacturers to improve the functional safety of their products. While not everyone can win, it is useful to go through the exercise of choosing a winner. When I saw the list of products that achieved IEC 61508 Functional Safety certification this past year I was surprised how many successful new products were on the list. The Safety Automation Element List , where exida publishes valid certificates and assessment reports, has grown considerably this past year. There are new categories and many new manufacturers. It is nice that many safety system designers can more quickly find certified equipment for their safety instrumented system designs.
Manufacturers can nominate their products here
If you are not a manufacturer, but would like to nominate a product, please send the Company and Product Name to firstname.lastname@example.org
**Deadline for nominations is Sunday, September 15, 2013