Pre-Certified Software Components
Component-based software development is an approach that focuses on building software systems by composing reusable and independent components. Components encapsulate specific functionalities and can be combined to create complex applications. This methodology promotes code reusability, scalability, and modularity, enhancing development efficiency and maintenance.
When engineering a safety product, the safety capability of each software component becomes important. The combination of redundancy, diagnostic and safety capability defines the resulting product safety property. The rules on determining the product safety property in detail, depends on the safety standard. As a rule of thumb, we can assume that the lowest safety capability of a component in the system defines the overall system safety.
In the field of functional safety, the "safety capability" refers to the ability of a system or product to operate safely and reliably, even in the presence of potential hazards or failures. It means that the system is designed and built in a way that minimizes the risk of accidents, injuries, or damage to people, equipment, or the environment.
In industrial settings, safety capability involves implementing safety features and protocols to protect workers from hazards such as machinery malfunctions or chemical leaks. In the medical field, it means ensuring that medical devices and systems operate correctly to prevent harm to patients. In the automotive industry, safety capability includes features like seat belts, airbags, and stability control to reduce the risk of accidents. In the railway sector, safety capability involves systems that detect and respond to signals, obstacles, and other trains to prevent collisions and ensure passenger safety.
Overall, safety capability focuses on incorporating measures and technologies that enable reliable and secure operations in various industries, keeping people and assets safe from harm.
Software components, provided by Embedded Office, go through a certification process. This process includes the typical software activities like documentation, implementation and verification. Furthermore, a safety concept, hazard analysis and rules for safe operation are identified and documented. All these activities represents the core of the functional safety management and needs to be checked by an independent assessor. We refer to this process as pre-certification and the resulting software component as "pre-certified component".
During the pre-certification process, Embedded Office considers the main safety standards which allows component assessments. We are constantly targeting the highest possible safety capability an isolated software component can achieve:
Automotive : ISO 26262 - ASIL D
Industrial : IEC 61508 - SIL 3
Medical : IEC 62304 - Class C
Railway : EN 50128 - SIL 4
Besides the certificate, the most important deliverable of the pre-certification is the "safety manual". In general, this document provides detailed instructions, guidelines, and procedures for ensuring the safe operation of the component. It contains essential information about potential hazards, safety measures, and recommended practices to minimize risks and prevent malfunctions. The safety manual serves as a reference guide for users, technicians, and operators, outlining safety protocols, emergency procedures, and maintenance instructions. It helps ensure that individuals involved in using or maintaining the system understand the necessary precautions to follow and promote a safe working environment by providing clear and accessible information about safety-related aspects.
At Embedded Office, the safety manual covers these common topics for the safe operation of the pre-certified component and is divided in three documents for different user audiences:
safety manual : safety measures, potential hazards, operational limits
safety recommendations : best practices, common usage procedures
target integration manual : target specific integration guide
In conclusion, component-based software development offers valuable benefits, including code reusability, scalability, and modularity. Safety capability plays a crucial role in functional safety, ensuring systems operate safe, minimizing risks in various industries like automotive, medical, industrial, and railway sectors.
Embedded Office's pre-certified components undergo a rigorous certification process, meeting the highest safety standards. The resulting safety manual provides vital instructions and guidelines for safe operation, promoting a safe working environment. With these pre-certified components and safety manuals, developers can confidently build reliable and safe software systems. Embracing this approach is crucial for creating robust applications that protect users, assets, and the environment from potential hazards and malfunctions.