Last week I was part of a conversation that made me really question why people (companies) would set themselves up for failure.  Is it lack of knowledge?  Lack of communication? Or maybe they are simply NEW to the process and don’t know what to expect.

But then I thought about it again and realized that our industry is going through a transition. 

When I go anywhere by car I follow a simple procedure: Ask for the location, get in the car, inform my phone (GPS) where I want to go, and I start driving to the location and never miss a beat.  I can’t even imagine what it was like before we even had road maps…

In today’s world we normally don’t even ask for directions because the process is so streamlined and the technology is very efficient.  Functional Safety is starting down that same path.  A few years ago many people (companies) never worried about legalities and created products and items in the most cost effective way.  Now all of a sudden companies are finding themselves in legality issues much more frequent and need to incorporate “RISK” into their budgets.  This is where functional safety is playing a HUGE role in the market place.

Wouldn’t it be nice to build a product KNOWING that you are safe?  This is ultimately the goal of many companies but they still wait until the product is completed to get it “Certified.”  Why are they not including the certified body to help them from the beginning phases?  (Making sure their process in line, making sure they develop may layers of protection, etc…. )  Is the cost more initially? Of course it is, but how much more is a company spending if something fails and, due to the failure, a legality issue arises?

As time progresses, like everything else, so will the functional safety world.  Having worked in the manufacturing world for a number of years I wish I knew then what I know now.  My previous company would have saved a tremendous amount of money and even customers in the long term.

Tagged as:     Ted Stewart  

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