exida explains Blog

Entries tagged with: John Yozallinas

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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If There Was ONE THING You Need to Know About Using PIU
  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Tuesday, August 05, 2014
  • Certification

If There Was ONE THING You Need to Know About Using PIU

Have a formal process for tracking, recording, and classifying field shipments and failure returns.

If your product was designed well in the first place, even if strict adherence to IEC 61508 was not followed, your field failure rate should be pretty low.

Using Proven-In-Use (PIU) methodology will…

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Is your Car Smarter than a Fifth Grader?

Is your Car Smarter than a Fifth Grader?

While channel surfing the TV this weekend, I happened to stop on an old show called “My Mother The Car.”  (Ok, I’m dating myself, but it was filmed in color, as opposed to some other favorite old shows still in black-and-white).  The fictional car, a 1928 Porter built for…

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Is Your Team Ready for the Big Game?

Is Your Team Ready for the Big Game?

How does a team get to play in the NCAA tournament?  They don’t just buy plane tickets and arrive at the arena ready to play whoever else shows up.  In fact, there is a rather rigorous process to determine who gets to play and what seed they are, which…

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  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Wednesday, December 07, 2011
  • Certification

It Ought to be a Crime

There is no shortage of drivers who try to “beat the red light,” or roll through a stop sign.  I see it every day (luckily BEFORE they hit my side door).  Even though everyone knows, or should know the “rules of the road,” there are some folks who are…

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  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Tuesday, February 19, 2013
  • Certification

It’s Just a Little Change…

Once there was a laundry room with old, worn-out linoleum floor.  It was functional but did not have the look and feel of newer homes.  The lady of the house decided to replace the flooring with new ceramic tile.  She engaged her husband with the idea, outlining the benefits…

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Knowing Scope of Work (SOW)

Knowing Scope of Work (SOW)

There was a joke I heard many years ago that went like this…

3 workers were hired to run telephone lines.  The first part of their job was to install the poles on which the wires would run.  Each day, the foreman would ask the workers how many poles…

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Let’s Get Personal… with Risk

Let’s Get Personal… with Risk

We recognize that risk is inherent in many aspects of our lives.  And most of us will do what is prudent to avoid unreasonable risk in our activities, such that we are left with some level of tolerable risk.  It may be safer to stay home and not travel…

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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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Nothing Happens Until Someone Sells Something!

Nothing Happens Until Someone Sells Something!

When I first heard this phrase, I was working in an R&D group developing electronic DCS.  My first interpretation was that until the Sales Department got an order for a new product, new ideas sort of sat on the shelf with low priority… meaning that people were probably working…

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Return to the “Just Do It” Approach
  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Tuesday, September 15, 2015
  • Software

Return to the “Just Do It” Approach

*The “Just Do It” approach was previously referenced in the blog entry Seat-of-your-Pants Software?

If used early in the development lifecycle, a “just do it” approach could help marketing determine the look-and-feel of an application program with a complex user interface.  Early software prototyping on a PC…

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Say What?
  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Thursday, October 01, 2015
  • Certification

Say What?

The “see something, say something” mantra is being used as a countermeasure for terrorism and crime, but it can also be effective to improve functional safety in development teams and plant sites.  It could be useful in general process improvement as well.

This can be especially evident during training…

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Seat-of-your-pants Software?
  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Wednesday, December 03, 2014
  • Software

Seat-of-your-pants Software?

I’ve had software development folks tell me that the “just do it” approach is a valid lifecycle model for SW development.  In their context, this means writing the code based on limited marketing and design information and then backfilling the requirements and design specifications to describe what was done. …

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  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Wednesday, March 06, 2013
  • Software

So What’s an Impact Analysis?

It doesn’t take much to remember a time you wish you had “looked before you leaped.” The time you bought furniture that would not fit through the doorway, or the small tree you planted whose roots are now cracking through the sidewalk. Don’t you wish you had given more…

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  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Thursday, December 06, 2012
  • Software

Spaces and Braces and Comments – Oh My!

What constitutes a good coding guideline?

Serious software development for functional safety requires a coding standard or coding guideline. Most organizations have one, but how do you know if it’s good?

You need to look beyond the boilerplate and physical code layout that are often defined in a coding…

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  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Thursday, April 14, 2011
  • Certification

Stepping stones to SIL 3

Imagine.  Marketing has just approached the engineering department and says your new safety product must have SIL 3 Capable certification instead of SIL 2 to be successful.  You are in the engineering group developing this new product.  Now what?

Let’s assume that the “change request” makes…

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Stress vs. Strength… In My Process?

Stress vs. Strength… In My Process?

I consistently find that with companies who are new to functional safety development, the SW process is not as structured or mature as the HW process.  SW development is often more informal, and subject to the interpretation of one or more SW developers.  But when project delays occur, it’s…

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Texas City Refinery Explosion: Ten Years Later

Texas City Refinery Explosion: Ten Years Later

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the Texas City Refinery Explosion.  Is it any safer to work in the oil refinery industry since then?  That’s not an easy question to answer.  It’s difficult to get a yardstick out to measure safety.  But if we consider the number of…

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That Could Never Happen! What are the Odds?

That Could Never Happen! What are the Odds?

I often walk through my quiet neighborhood streets on weekday evenings or weekend mornings.  These are the times when I don’t expect much traffic, and my expectations are usually met.  The probability of a dangerous event that would injure me seems pretty low (risk assessment), since I am usually…

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Train Wrecks Waiting to Happen?

Train Wrecks Waiting to Happen?

Hacking public transportation systems is always depicted on TV and movies.  And they make it seem so easy… it only takes seconds for these fictional experts.  Is it a reality?

Well, the Amtrak train derailment that occurred earlier this year in Philadelphia got me thinking about “hacking” as a…

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