Light in the standards jungle
Due to the increased cooperation between man and machine, the importance of functional safety in industrial automation continues to grow. Component manufacturers in particular are therefore being called upon more than ever to address the issue.
Strongly process-driven large companies could still handle the associated requirements as process adaptations, but smaller, more customer/solution-oriented sensor and actuator manufacturers, with exceedingly lean processes, find themselves deprived of flexibility if they want to integrate the strict requirements of IEC 61508 into their business. This two-part series is intended to provide assistance to SMEs in particular that are about to enter the functional safety arena. The first part explains the basic principles of functional safety, the relevant standards and the (product) safety lifecycle. The second part uses concrete steps to show how a company can manage integration pragmatically in practice.
Article published in SPS Magazine