Proper functionality of E/E/PE systems is a core component of functional safety
Denis Dryashkin / Fotolia
2018-11-01 Testing + Certification 739 0

Functional safety – Testing and Certification at the VDE Institute

Nowadays, product safety depends on the proper functionality of electrical, electronic and programmable electronic systems (E/E/PE) more than ever, since malfunctions can lead to dangerous situations and therefore endanger persons and investments. As such, it must be ensured that E/E/PE systems work flawlessly and safely–even in case of malfunction. Take advantage of our expertise to safely design your product and prevent hazards.

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Christian Lütkemeier
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Functional safety – A very important cross-sectional topic

Functional safety entails a series of obligations, primarily during the development phase.
Marina Lohrbach / Fotolia

Systematic and random hardware and software errors can lead to dangerous situations. Electric shocks, fires, or even explosions are not uncommon here. Via the respective, harmonized standards, the CE guidelines also require an analytical certificate of conformity (risk analysis) in addition to a deterministic one. Functional safety is a risk-based approach and entails a series of obligations, mainly during the development phase. It must be taken into account for the entire life cycle and handled differently, depending on the approach (product, subsystem, components). Testing should be performed by a recognized and independent institution, like the VDE Institute, especially when there is a high potential for risk.

The VDE Institute offers its testing expertise as early as during the development phase and certifies product safety at the end of the development cycle through a VDE certificate. A tested and certified product with the VDE Institute’ test marks means safety and quality for your customers and an easier market entry for you.

We support you with introductory workshops and training.

Standardization on functional safety

Many different aspects of functional safety for electric, electronic or programmable electronic systems are described in IEC 61508, a trans-sectoral set of standards. The standard’s scope spans design, planning, development, execution, commissioning, maintenance, modification to decommissioning and uninstallation. Furthermore, there are additional normative definitions for special product areas. The VDE Institute has a close connection to standardization activities through the DKE (Deutsche Kommission für Elektrotechnik),  a mutual institution of the VDE and DIN–and even participates in committees to continue pushing forward the standardization and, at the same time, always be up to date.

Our services in the field of functional safety

At the VDE Institute, numerous product groups are tested for functional safety.

Product groups

We test the following product groups, among others, for functional safety:

At the VDE Institute, numerous product groups are tested for functional safety.

We test the following product groups, among others, for functional safety:

In addition to testing, we also offer other services in the field of functional safety

Test spectrum and services

Our comprehensive test spectrum and our services include the following, among other things:

In addition to testing, we also offer other services in the field of functional safety

Our comprehensive test spectrum and our services include the following, among other things:

  • Functional safety according to ISO 26262-x in the automotive industry
  • Functional safety of electric bicycles according to ISO EN 13849-x, IEC EN 61800-5-2, EN 15194, IEC 62061
  • Functional safety of generating plants at the low-voltage network according to VDE AR-N 4105
  • Functional safety according to IEC EN 61508-x, ISO/IEC 250xx, IEC 62443-x, ISO/IEC 15504-x (functional safety, software evaluation, Software Product Quality Requirements and Evaluation (SQuaRE), security-test and data security, process assessment model, maturity model)
  • Functional safety of insulation monitoring devices according to IEC EN 61557-15
  • Functional safety of agricultural technology, such as self-driving vehicles, according to ISO 25119-x, DIN EN ISO 18497, IEC 62443-x
  • Functional safety of switch cells between power generation plants and the public grid according to DIN VDE V 0126-1-1
  • Functional safety of controllers for networked systems in the process industry, such as electronic control in the chemical process industry, according to DIN EN ISO 18497, IEC 61511, IEC 62443-x
  • Functional safety of networked machines, such as Industry 4.0 or networked and collaborating industrial robots in production, according to EN ISO 10218-x, ISO 13849-x, ISO/TS 15066, IEC 62061, DIN EN ISO 18497, IEC 62443-x
  • Functional safety of civil drones according to IEC EN 61508-x, ARP4761, ED-79A/ARP4754A, IEC 62443-x
  • Evaluation during development and during the individual phases of the safety life cycle
  • Product certification – even with regard to additional safety aspects
  • Seminars and workshops (even in-house)
  • Testing hardware and software according to validation planning
  • Process analysis for obtaining efficient functional safety management systems
  • Moderating and evaluating hazard and risk analyses

VDE certificate for functional safety

VDE certificate for functional safety
VDE

If focus is placed on a product’s special characteristic during the tests and compliance with the requirements of the respective standard is proven, then a certificate with a mark relating to this characteristic can be issued. This mark can be used in accordance with certification rules and will be listed in the VDE’s certification directory.

Meaning of functional safety in many different fields

Driving assistance systems must function reliably and safely

V2X functional safety as part of the ITS and autonomous driving

The Federal Motor Vehicle Transport Authority has notified the VDE Institute as a category A and D technical service for electric vehicles, and it has accredited the VDE Institute for functional safety.

Driving assistance systems must function reliably and safely

The Federal Motor Vehicle Transport Authority has notified the VDE Institute as a category A and D technical service for electric vehicles, and it has accredited the VDE Institute for functional safety.

More and more intelligent vehicle assistance systems in the automotive industry are assuming active safety tasks that are paving the way to fully automated driving with optimized vehicle communication (V2X: vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication). An increasing number of electrical, electronic and software-based electronic safety functions are subject to the requirements of functional safety.

For more information, please look at this diagram as well.

Artificial intelligence will independently work securely through functional safety

Artificial intelligence and functional safety

The goal of artificial intelligence in functional safety is to produce an intelligent sensor agent with a good (autonomous, learning, intelligent, automatic) information system.

Artificial intelligence will independently work securely through functional safety

The goal of artificial intelligence in functional safety is to produce an intelligent sensor agent with a good (autonomous, learning, intelligent, automatic) information system.

It observes its environment and safely controls the device, machine, vehicle or system during any impending hazardous situations with the help of logic, actuator technology and an affected and learning knowledge basis (machine learning).

Intelligent sensors according to diagram 1 and diagram 2 are based on the development of MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems), nano technology, and sophisticated electronic and wireless transmission capabilities. Every single one of these components contributes to the reliability and safety integrity of the smart sensor’s safety functions.

What separates functional safety from information security?

Interplay of functional safety and information security
singkham / Fotolia

Functional safety through automation technology will ensure that the device does not pose any outward hazard to people or the environment.

Information security will ensure that no external forces ,such as malware or unauthorized system access, can affect anything. In both cases, system functionality can be affected or malfunctions can be produced.

As such, the appropriate tests in the field of functional safety and information security are recommended for products with E/E/PE systems to prevent damage to the device and to people.

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