Safety certifying automotive components

For electronics to make their way onto commercial airliners, extensive testing and failure modes must be determined before they are certified for flight. Is there a similar requirement for automobile fly by wire systems?

03/13/2010


In response to a Pillar to Post blog entry on Toyota’s speed controller woes, one reader asked: For electronics to make their way onto commercial airliners, extensive testing and failure modes must be determined before they are certified for flight. Is there a similar requirement for automobile fly by wire systems?

One of the most widely used safety standards is IEC 61508, the international standard for “Functional Safety of Electrical, Electronic, and Programmable Electronic Safety-Related Systems.” It defines SIL (safety integrity level) classifications and how to develop products to achieve a SIL rating. It is the standard that all agencies (TÜV, Exida, SIRA/CSA, FM, etc.) use to evaluate and certify products to SIL requirements. It is a generic specification for functional safety and is not specific to any particular industry or application. There are also sector specific IEC functional safety standards, including IEC 61511 (a.k.a. ISA S84) for the process industry sector and IEC 62061 for the machinery sector. There are also IEC functional safety standards for nuclear (IEC 61513), rail (IEC 62278), and medical (IEC 62304) applications. There is a standard under development, ISO 26262, entitled “Road Vehicles–Functional Safety,” which is an adaptation of the functional safety standard IEC 61508.  However, in the meantime, IEC 61508 can be and is applied to automotive electronics. Exida does a lot of work for German auto manufacturers who pioneered the use of “drive-by-wire” technology and did it with a very high level of safety.

Globally, the topic of failsafe designs has not been applied as broadly as it should be. The North American transportation industry, in general, seems to have avoided coming to terms with it, but European companies have applied it much more effectively. While still under investigation by the NTSB, early indications suggest that recent rail incidents (e.g., DC Metro, Disney World Monorail) were a result of electronic controls that are not functionally safe, at least by today’s standards.

–John Cusimano, CFSE
Director of Security Services
exida

Read Control Engineering’s Machine Safety blog with J.B. Titus.

Posted by Ask Control Engineering on March 13, 2010



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Bring focus to PLC programming: 5 things to avoid in putting your system together; Managing the DCS upgrade; PLM upgrade: a step-by-step approach
Balancing the bagging triangle; PID tuning improves process efficiency; Standardizing control room HMIs
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.