Innovation Nation
Innovation Nation

Episode · 1 year ago

Stop Overlooking Functional Safety & Start Innovating w/ Sven Nowak, Kevin Connelly & Justin Heyl


Functional Safety is paramount in any industry with machines — therefore, every industry. But why is it so often last place in adoption when it should be first place in innovation?

In this episode, I interview three experts about how Functional Safety drives innovation: Sven Nowak, Regional Program Director and Global Head of Functional Safety; Kevin Connelly, Functional Safety Business Development; and Justin Heyl, NA Program Manager, Cybersecurity, Digital, and AI — all at TÜV SÜD.

What we talked about:

  • How Functional Safety is rising in importance across industries
  • When manufacturers should incorporate Functional Safety into design
  • Functional Safety is a cross disciplinary responsibility
  • Innovating with Functional Safety

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Innovation is all around us. In fact, everyone innovates, often unbeknowns to themselves. Many mistakenly assumed the innovation is either a big capital project, a figurative bolt of lightning that brings inspiration, or the province of some exceptionally gifted person. This is the myth of innovation. But you can innovate as well. You are listening to innovation nation, the podcast where top executives and industry experts are sharing their insights on harnessing the power of innovation. We're here to help you stay ahead of the curve by driving your own innovation. Here's your host, Jasmine Martyr Rossen hi. Welcome to another episode of Our podcast to Zoot, innovation nation. This is your host, Jasmine R to us, yea, my guests today are spend Novak, Kevin Connolly and Justin Hoile, who are leading experts on functional safety. Now, most of us do not even think a functional safety, but given the complexity of involving technology, functional safety is extremely important to making sure that things are actually functioning the way they are intended, and we're going to ask our experts to talk to us about how functional safety influences innovation and for still welcome books. Spend what don't. We'll start with you. Thank you very much. Just and I agree. With increasing complexity and technology, functional safety becomes more and more important, even in sectors we would not expect functional safety, and necessarily so. As to an example, we can take the consumer product industry as an example where function safety in the past didn't play a big role. A good example here is so who would imagine that a a coffee machine nowadays has now function the safety issues so that we have to consider? So in the old days, so you know, nobody would have thought about functional safety in the context of an household appliance. But now with, as I said, with keyusing a complexity, with connectivity, things get more and more complicated on and too simple thing like on the old days, often a copper machine, the only hazard so that we had back in the days when fire has it for in overheating of the plate. So in those days and simple therm refuse ahead us to mitigate the risks. But nowadays, again with complexity, you know, we have micro controllers inside the coffee machine, we have software and now the supervision of the heat, of the control now is done inside a micro controller. Implemented into to a software. Know, so, we all know the micro control US software prone to pay us, and now it becomes a functional safety issue. It's not necessary something so which is baking huge and compared can be compared to some more complex applications. Nevertheless, it is a very important to keep this in mind. So, not to mention also issues beyond syber secuity and it comes to to a funciou safe when it comes to a saber secuity, as an example, is another area that also needs to be explored in this context. Thank you. And human yeah, so that is interesting intro. I definitely agree. Is the advance of technology marches on. You know, functional safety becomes more and more important as we use it, so to speak, for more autonomous purposes, whether it's autonomous, you know as a machinery, that it's operating your autonomously, in the words with with no with no drivers, or even a tractor, or you know it's some commercial product that grooming a lawn. As these advanced using new technologies, they're relying on it ...

...since they have no operator. You now have to have technology to provide the safety, to ensure that you know safety, even though there's you know, that you don't have an operator, you do have arguably people nearby or people in an environment, so in attractor, you know, in in the barn or near the field or in other areas. So you know, we see more and more the additional use of technology, where before it might just be locking a room and nobody near the machinery or if it's machinery that's roaming, that's obviously not an option. So it just introduces so many more possibilities, but it's also becomes more and more important. Yasin, yeah, absolutely, and I work in the medical device industry and what what we've seen as we have a lot of different standards that focus on different technologies and you look at the complexity of the medical devices, that seems to be one of the areas why it's hard to develop a functional safety standard specifically for medical devices, because there's such a high diversity and system architectures between different medical devices. And the typical approach in medical device industry is that we have a set of standards, we tested those standards. We do have performance requirements for infusion pompt or robotic systems, those type of things, but the industry really hasn't gravitated to the state of the art, which is functional safety. These manufacturers can pass these requirements and have basic safety, but when you really look at the device architectures, you you look at your risk management on how you how you look at those products, how you mitigate some of the challenges that they have. A lot of things are ignored. Is Software of failures and software and detected failures. We have standards to develop software, but if that's not looked at and assumed, the single fault conditions we test to aren't really providing the safety that these devices should have and the operators need to have and also the patients. So that's the challenge we really have in a medical device industry and it seems to be adopted in certain areas of the world and other areas it's still inhibited in its infancies. So when I listen to makes me think that I should think of my coffeemaker as a computer too and as a medical devices. Is there any truth to that and how does that factor into how manufactors should innovate? Thinking and functional safety and everything becomes from a computer nowadays? Would like to pick up a point that adjusting just mentioned and and really reiterate on that is he mentions as software, the importance of it, and we were talking talking about, you know, consumer products, medical products also, and autonomous applications. So when you look at those applications, when you look at the studies, so then you see that the majority of the failures that occur in those applications are linked to systematic fairs in the software us, to systematic fayers in a general and particularly to a software. So I read a study recently that you the study comes out of the rail industry, where you have so where you have a you as along a history of function safety and those guys know exactly how to know a develop software and safety critical systems. But even there, where you spend a lot of money, and there was something around more than hundred dollars per line of code, so that they have to spend to create, a design and maintain safety software. And we are talking about...

...if someone, we're talking about on board computer. So we are talking about it so between a hundred, two, three, hundred fiftyzero line of codes. So imagine how much money needs to be spent for safety critical software, even though there are all the steps, all the safety menagement or the safety assurance processes in place, even though you have still faders in the software, and you will have them, and it is so important to keep this under a control and to make sure that we really apply function safety standards, even though the area might not be regulated or anything like that sort of it's so that you don't have to do it by the really to control complexity, in particular for the software, becomes so important to follow a framework and to follow function safety principles to make sure that the software or that the system itself is yeah sufficiently free of systematic various so this is a very important true across all industries. Then what you guys are telling me makes me think that manufactress have to develop eat your disciplinary thinking and it's functional safety that glue that brings everything together. Does it drive a new new way of thinking in developing products? Yeah, I would definitely agree to that. For the medical device industry, and especially functional safety, I think that is probably one of the first areas where you would blend software with hardware and you have to look at the in a relationship between those two. A lot of the industries would have mechanical electrical engineers working on one part programmers working on the other part. You put it together. You do some tasks and say it seems to work pretty well, but functional safety really had dug into the heart of the in a relationship between those and the safety that that product or subsystem could adhere to. You. Yeah, I'd say also in machinery and and in in process this industry, there's definitely an interdisibleinary thought process required as as just as mentioned. In the medical industry is an example of, you know, software and hardware and you know, people coming together to put those together, and I would assume they also have to have an understanding of the function of the product. And in the machinery would be the same machinery. I think in that respect they have been thinking along those lines, you know anyhow. But now I think it requires more competencies to get involved because it's not just it's not just understanding that you know, let's just say make it simple, that the software and it's not just understanding the hardware. It's again, yeah, it's how they interact and how that, how that interaction affects the the overall operation, that normal operation the machine and the abnormal operation of machine that you're worried about and what the concerns are and what the risks are, so to speak. So at what point in the design process should we actors start thinking? How Functional Safety? Immediately? But I said, you know what the concept stage. I I'll let spend speak, but that it's definitely once they start designing something, they should start considering one of the safety concerns and how they're going to address that. It's been I know you had something to say about that. Yeah, it's. And so what we see, especially in new technology. So we can see it with and for a bolt expense, and so any sort of autonomous applications and the automodil field. So we have so we see a lot of start up companies that are, you know, from the software and half a point of view, so very so they have very good engineers, very great engineers, to develop software and hardware, but on the other hand they don't have necessary experience in function safety. And then you have the situation, or we end up in the situation, where there is this idea to bring function safety later on. So they have because of the pressure to bring...

...their product to the market, time to market and all the rest of it. I think. So there's the tendency so that they say, okay, so we start at developing and then we consider safety in a general and particular function safety later on, and this of course creates a lot of issues later on and you may end up in a situations or where you so, when you don't consider functional safety at the very early stage of the project, do your a concept, then you will get problems and you will, you know, come to the point that you have to go back in your life cycle and to fix things, so, which is very time consuming and and also a very costly so we really encourage companies and designer to think about function safety at an early stage, to get a certification body like to suit involved at a very early stage at to make sure that they are aware of what functional safety means, what it means in terms of the technical design and to as so to make sure that they don't get any bad surprises at the light station of the developments. So it is important to get us to get the certification body on board a very early this has an immediate effect on the time to market considerations. Yeah, and definitely agreed on that. Looking at having technical meetings early on when you're doing your requirements analysis, your system analysis, system analysis and design, your hardware, software, component design and then, yeah, try and get it early in the B cycle while we can look at a functional safety concept of the device and make sure that things are incorporated before the prototypes are built, and then, one prototypes are built and early, early devices for test, that's where we can start to do some validation testing on that as well. So definitely like to be engaged have early and frequent technical meetings to be able to support this and also to limit eliminate a significant redesign of the product to be able to meet these functional safety requirements. So I hear all three of you see that getting started with thinking of functional safety in this interdisciplinary process of product development will in fact expert that your time to market, because if you don't started the outset complex it is, might come out at the end and then you have to do redesign cycle. That correct. I would have corrected and and and you know, redesign might be an understatement. It could be it could be scrapping entire concepts and going back literally to the to the board level to redevelop a board, which you know, I you know might experience for a company is in your is very devastating to go back to that level it's not like you can just add something on in some cases or just okay, we can work around and in some cases you can, but a lot of cases you just can. Wow, that's drasston. Yeah, son, you were to say some we need. So we need to be engaged in all phases of the life cycle, starting at a very early point. So that's very important. So it's gives planning certainty to at our customers to make sure that they so they know exactly where potential problems are and so once the concept is find of us, so then the certification of the product should not be a problem anymore. But the concept, the engagement at a very early stage, I would say, is very critical. So who is to raise the issues a functional safety? Do be paying attention to it within a manfacturing organization? Is it? It is sign engineer who would do that, like which rules look at functional safety in the design process? Generally, development team of the sage cricket product should have a safety team.

They should have some sort of size to manager. So they have the safety organization, they have a very class and very datas and so the safety engineer. So this is it's it should be a known team. Okay, yea, and sometimes the when you're looking at developing a product, at least in the medical industry, your program managers, product develop people that are responsible for the product and the regulatory of that, because then the you know, the develops team, the designers, all those people are working on that committee, working on that group, and that way they can coordinate the different expertise to make sure that the device will meet functional safety requirements. Yeah, I'll say you know, when I've been seeing a lot of it's been mentioned before. We've been working with a lot of, you know, startup related that that are, you know, advancing into, for instance, autonomous areas. And I mentioned all that because you know, at the start up level there are so lean that you know they're developing a really complex product and it may be a director of engineering and two or three other people involved. Then again, I say all that because I'm in that case, the director level, the high level, probably should identify at least we need to understand the safety implications here on how to address them. So you know what that at you with those customers, because they're just when, just to mention regulatory they don't have regulatory staff, they don't have yeah, like I said they got a couple of guys and they're asking the question, do you think we need training or, you know, would be be able to do it with with oversight guidance? So that's a question they all have to ask. Well, given how being startups are, you know you think that all the way to the sea. Sweet and generally what I'm hearing you say is that it's across disciplinary responsibility to think of functional safety across the spectrum of the organization to expeduct the product design and the effectiveness and getting to market faster. That we should also mention that there's early engagement and what Kevin just explain about stutnup companies is is is true for function safety, but it is also true for other disciplines as well. So so when you look at other disciplines, all the testing a disciplints, so that I required. So those are it's equally important to be engaged in eity stage and to make sure that the right the right design decisions are made. And this is true for function safe is also true for other errors as well. So nothing mentioned a cyber security at the end of the world, at the end of the day, but it's yeah, it's it's true to all safety disciplines and I'm my opinion there should be also in holistic view on safety and a general including functional safety, electrical safety and some instances and so on, excellent. Any trends in the industry when it comes to functional safety? Well, functional safety has so I think has to develop along with the technology. I think they're discussions to how to deal with artificient intentions, as an example, would be one area where functional safety we're not necessary. You know, available. funcial safety standards are, you know, up to speak to it. But there are a lot of developments inside the Sundayization committees. But I mentioned earlier or so consumer and the consumer product area, function safety becomes part of the product standards. So more and more so those are the sort of transfer that yeah, and I notice. Yeah, I've...

...noticed in the at least in medical device industry, that the Addulan plainable market, like cardiac pacemakers, those type of things, and any cardiac planable devices, they've really adopted a lot of the concepts of functional safety. I would say because of the size of the device and the space that they have, they may rely more on high integrity components, but in the medical device industry that's not typically relied on, such as maybe an automotive industry or aerospace industry or rail some of the transportations. That the typical designs that come out with infusion palms or robotics, they're not leveraging the true concepts of high integrity components. So they really have to implement redundant systems and it's it's it's evolving. I also think it's awareness and education with respect to the design teams, that you know they've kind of always done it a certain way and that you know they can pass regulatory requirements, potentially for the FTA, but it's that they can get to that next level definitely. And you look at the medical robotics systems. You know what if the you know, calibration of some sort of sensor on the speed of movement of a arm, all you're doing, sirree starts to drift a little bit, do you have some sort other protective system that can monitor that? Yeah, but you know redundancies a different way to measure the speed with a different type of sensor so you're not relying on potentially a redundant system that could both have potential issues with the software in that area. So yeah, it's it's evolving and I see more grass roots and subsets of the medical device industry, been laters heart own machines, that those concepts need to be more broadly adopted by the other medical technologies. Wow, I really appreciate the insects you've been sharing today and I can assure you who no longer ever look at my coffee maker the same way. Any closing thoughts before we conclude this? And how you know functional safety cans for innovation and it's essential to it. I'll, I'll I add something to that. Stay in long glade. You you phrase that. You said functional safety can can act to innovation. I would say that you know, when you ask the question about trends in the industry, functional safety being more something you used and something that you think of first. In other words, it's a little bit more of a tool and certainly there are trends and tools, but you know, not necessarily a trend, but you know maybe something that the more and more manufacturers are coming to realize that functional safety. You know, if you use functional safety correctly or think of safety systems, it can change in machinery how you operate for the better, right, so you can go from something that's very restrictive to something now that, you know, just broadly, has much greater potential for your for your manufacturing floor to operate. I'll just say broadly. You know, things like collaborative robots. That ties into functional safety and the use of humans working close together with machinery. So, you know, I think many manufacturers recognize that. So you could call it a trend. I think many manufacturers should also continue to think along those lines so they can innovate, you know, relying on functional safety as a tool. Thank you really and your turn. Yeah, and it definitely like to share also brand awareness to in the medical device industry. Obviously there's recalls, there's events and...

I could go through the recalls over the maybe last year and as far as medical devices, I can find many, such as infusion palms, you know in tray or two balloon palms, those type of things that have recalls and if they would have incorporated functional safety, the device would have detected these faults at these times. So it's brands, it's the work that it takes to to go through a recall. It's also the brand of the company in those areas. So and it also gives companies a competitive advantage. Yeah, definitely. If they meet these requirements, they have a much more reliable device than potentially their competitors. And and so it's a very holistic approach that I think the company at an enterprise level needs to adopt, because it definitely can help in many different ways for these companies. Thank you. Really appreciate your taking the time. And it's important to also think of recalls. Every huge. You will see effect on the brand, credibility legitimacy of a company. So functional safety then comes in handy in helping companies save millions and dollars, not to mention not to endange your lives. Right requals are usually left threatening. So thank you, folks, for joining this panel today and joining our podcast again, this is to say innovasion nation, with hosted by Jazzine marks Russ, and our guest today we're Justin. I'll Cavin Concley. It's thank you. You've been listening to innovation nation. For more, subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcast player or connect with us on Linkedin. Thanks for listening.

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