Functional safety is fundamental for the overall safety of electronic products and serves to protect both people and machines. We also provide maximum safety in ever more complex technical systems.
At INRO we have assigned top priority to human safety and environmental protection in all stages of the product life cycle. At the same time, development and production need to realize new products under time and cost pressure. We provide support in developing safe electronics products in compliance with the safety standards DIN EN IEC 61508, DIN EN ISO 13849, and DIN EN ISO 62061.
With our long-term experience in development and serial production management, we are by your side in all issues of functional safety from the product idea to certification. Our qualified specialists have developed standards proven in certifications.
We are not only capable of designing safe products as your development service provider but can also enable you to code and integrate application-specific safety features in your products.
To us, safety is always top priority, even before we start developing.
Before the very development of a product’s hard- and software, we analyze the system environment as well as potential hazards and risks meticulously to meet the demands of safety in all stages of a product life cycle.
Understanding and formulating the product and its environment, setting boundaries of where the product will be deployed enables defining the scope of work. It is important to identify and quantify hazards and risks that could arise when installing, operating the product and potentially even when decommissioning and disposing it. Finally, risk-reducing provisions are determined to ultimately ensure product safety.
Once the product has been developed as hard- and/or software, the specifications regarding product safety need to be checked and validated yet again.
The successful and efficient implementation of all these tasks are made possible by state-of-the-art software tools used throughout the whole process, resulting in the validation of the safe product design by the certifying agent.
A perfect combination of powerful electronics and mechanical design which is attractive both in terms of functionality and aspect is the hallmark of modern products to us.
Our products combine functionality with safety. In order to achieve that, we determine a suitable safety architecture at the very beginning of drafting a concept. Fundamental standards such as DIN EN 61508 and DIN EN ISO 13849 already provide some roughly outlined architectures to start from. As a general rule, the higher the demands are concerning functional safety, the higher the efforts will have to be in terms of hardware technology.
For example, dual-channel safety architecture may increase hardware complexity, but reduce the need for self-tests, whereas single-channel safety architecture designs featuring testing may require less complex hardware, but, eventually, self-testing often proves to be challenging.
At INRO, the method for calculating safety-related parameters is standardized and reliable, so that they can also be processed directly with software tools such as SISTEMA. Likewise, potential component failures are analyzed and assessed. The related embedded software may indicate that additional components and circuits are required.
INRO uses proprietary circuit standards in its hardware design, which have been applied many times in other products and product validation processes. It goes without saying that we also comply with the regulations as stipulated in RoHS and Reach.
Often software is not outwardly visible for the product user and is, therefore, referred to as embedded software, which at INRO is implemented on computer systems based on micro-controllers.
When it comes to software engineering it does not suffice to test the software functionality at the end of the process. We apply suitable methods for ensuring functional safety and proper use in all stages of the software development process.
Safety standards such as DIN EN 61508 and die DIN EN ISO 13849 already provide a selection of concrete methods depending on the required safety integrity level (61508) and performance level (13849) respectively. And again the rule applies that the higher the requirements are concerning functional safety, the higher the complexity.
When coding embedded software, coding best practices and proven safety guidelines e.g. MISRA are applied. Compliance with these guidelines is automatically monitored using tools for static code analysis throughout the development process.
Now, the software modules are subject to further tests to check any probable entry values and execution paths for proper execution.
Our requirements engineering continuously monitors compliance of software functionality development with safety requirements. Software functionality shall neither be integrated negligently nor shall there be safety requirements not covered by software functionality.
Ultimately, the certifying agent will examine and validate that the stipulated processes and results to ensure functional safety have been complied with and documented for all stages of the software development process.
More often than not, modifications in terms of hardware and software become necessary in a product life cycle. So as not to affect product safety, we assess a modification’s impact on product safety for all stages in the cycle even before implementing the modification.
The modification will not be cleared for implementation before an impact analysis determines that the intended modification will not negatively affect the product safety with tests required for proving proper execution ensuing. Finally, we submit all document to the certifying agent for evaluation, so that the product safety can be re-certified.
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