Safety matters to everybody even Homer Simpson. There are various forms of safety including electrical safety, mechanic safety and intrinsic safety. A form of safety of particular importance to Analog Devices is Functional Safety. Functional Safety relates to the confidence that a particular piece of equipment will carry out its safety related task when asked to do so. For instance when a machine door is opened the many spinning motors inside should be stopped before the person can put their fingers in the motor. In my new blog series "Safety matters' I will cover some initial introductory topics but there after will vary across topics such as gas sensors, robots, machines, PLC analog i/o cards, trains, software and all the other application areas that come up in my remit as the functional safety for industrial guy. I might even throw in the odd bit about automotive, avionics or medical functional safety.
You might be thinking what makes this guy an expert? Well allow me to introduce myself, my name is Tom Meany. I joined Analog Devices over 30 years ago as the IT guy, a job I only stuck for about 18 months. Since then I worked in the test department working on parts such as sigma-delta ADCs, uControllers and power meter ICs. After that I worked as a project leader on similar parts and doing some light design work before joining the automotive group where I spent 9 years working on oil level sensors, air bag sensors and lead acid battery monitor chips. For the last 5 years or more I have been the functional safety guy for our industrial products. It was while working in the automotive group on air bag sensors that I was first exposed to functional safety along with the automotive demands for high quality, high reliability and extreme EMC robustness.
I am based in Limerick Ireland and I am the Irish expert on several IEC committees including
- IEC 61508 hardware working group
- IEC 61508 software working group
- IEC 61800-5-2 working group
I also have an interest in cyber security since I discovered that it can’t be safe unless it is also secure and I am therefore an observing member on ISA 99 who along with IEC TC 65 work on the IEC 62443 specification.
I am a TUV Rheinland functional safety engineer in the area of machinery and I have a certificate in Functional Safety and Reliability from Technis. I am the holder of 8 US patents related to semi-conductors and hold a degree in electronics and a masters in applied maths and computing.
In my personal life, I run a lot and have completed over 35 marathons and ultra-marathons. Long distance running gives you great time to ponder functional safety.
I like to find YouTube videos with a link to safety – no matter how tenuous the link – this one links both marathon running and safety - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xBJERznOgA
In my next blog I will try to answer the question “Is it Safe?”
Bye for now...Tom