What is functional safety?
As a developer and manufacturer of intelligent systems, you face a major challenge. Any system, no matter how well thought out, poses serious risks to its immediate environment. The standards and directives governing functional safety (fusa) ensure reliable protection for people, the environment, and machinery. They describe how to manage risks by means of automated safety systems. The correct application of the safety-related (control) systems and other risk-minimizing measures are crucial for the safety of a system. In this case, if a critical error occurs, the controller initiates the safe state.
Functional safety operates in a legally regulated environment. EN ISO 13849-1 is one of the most important standards for machine building. This regulates which safety requirements a machine must fulfill. The IEC 61511 series of standards governs the application of the functional safety of systems in the process industry. Important parameters for the reliability of safety-related functions are the safety integrity level (SIL) and the performance level (PL).
Machinery Directive Requirements for safety of machinery in the European Economic Area
Do your products fall within the scope of Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC? Do you want to place them on the European internal market? If so, you must observe the requirements of the Machinery Directive. It is only when these requirements are met in full that machines are allowed to bear the CE marking. This marking is required in order for a machine to be placed on the market and operated in the European Economic Area.
Process reliability Compliance with current legal requirements
In the process industry, there are different potential hazards for people and the environment. To minimize these hazards, the requirements from IEC 61511 should be met. IEC 61511 provides for functional safety management to prevent systematic errors. To control random errors, the safety functions must be designed correctly. In addition, the requirements of explosion protection must be observed. Increasing confinement by legislation and the growing number of safety regulations require an understanding of the fundamentals of explosion protection.
The way to a safe process plant Implementation of functional safety management
The safety lifecycle illustrates the process:
A detailed and well-documented risk analysis is the foundation for producing a safe process plant. Based on this, the following documents can then be created in the individual phases:
- Safety Requirements Specification
- Design of the hardware and SIL assessment
- Software documentation
- Validation of the safety functions
If these phases are passed through without planning and without a suitable management system, systematic errors can creep in. These errors may go undetected until a hazard occurs. Therefore, the path to a safe process plant starts before the risk analysis (incl. HAZOP). To avoid systematic errors during the individual phases, plant manufacturers and operators need a functional safety management system.
Security consulting From risk assessment to the certified system
For you as a manufacturer, integrating safety functions into machinery and plants involves additional work. Phoenix Contact will lend support here by providing advice tailored to your requirements. Regardless of manufacturer, the TÜV-certified functional safety experts at Phoenix Contact are on hand to assist you with the planning, construction, modification, completion, and operation of machinery throughout the safety lifecycle.
Products for functional safety From the safety switch to the safe controller
Discover our comprehensive range of products and solutions for functional safety. Safety switches, safety relays, and safe controllers enable the easy startup and configuration of your system. This means that you can concentrate on your core capabilities, safe in the knowledge that the statutory requirements will be satisfied and safe operation of your system ensured.