Functional security of electronic related systems

Many security-related systems that will use electromechanical technology or Solid-State electronics now use programmable electronics.

IEC 61508 covers functional safety of safety-related systems using programmable electronic and / or electronic (E / E / PE) technology. This standard applies to this system regardless of their application.
Examples of systems related to E / E / PE safety using electrical (or electro-mechanical) technology are interlocking guards and emergency stop systems for machines.

Functional safety

Devices such as programmable controllers, programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and digital communication systems (eg bus systems) are part of this trend.

Examples of applications include safe load indicator cranes, variable speed drive motors used to limit speed for protection, systems for interlocking and controlling the exposure dose of medical radiotherapy machines, or indicator lights, anti-lock braking, and engine management systems in cars. Other examples are emergency shutdown systems at hazardous chemical plants, railroad signaling systems and Fly-bywire operations. Surface flight control aircraft are the latest developments including network-based security systems, often facilitated by internet technology.


An exampleis Remote Monitoring, operating or programming from a network-enabled water treatment plant. E / E / PE safety related systems cover all parts of the system needed to carry out safety functions (ie from sensors, through logic control and communication systems, to final actuators, including critical actions from human operators). An E / E / PE system may be related to safety even if it does not have direct control over potentially dangerous equipment. For example, information-based decision support tools might be related to safety if erroneous results affect safety.

IEC 61508 as a basis for other standards Sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 of IEC 61508 are IEC’s basic safety publications. One of the responsibilities of the IEC technical committee is, wherever practical, to utilize this part of IEC 61508 while preparing their own sector or product standards that have E / E / PE related to safety systems within their scope.

Electronic Systems and Electronic Control Systems


For more details see IEC Guide 104, the preparation of safety publications and the use of basic safety publications and group security publications and ISO / IEC 51 guidelines, the safety aspects of the guidelines for their inclusion in the standard. IEC 61508 is the basis for published nuclear sector standards. It is also currently being used as a basis for developing other sector standards (for example machinery, processes) and Product standards (for example the propulsion system). Therefore it affects the development of E / E / PE related to the safety of systems and products in all sectors.


Many IEC 61508 requirements, especially in sections 2 and 3, are not repeated in the application sector or product standard but are referenced instead. The result is that most users will need IEC 61508 too.
The market for each product, component, or subsystem that complies with IEC 61508 has huge potential because in principle they are able to meet the sector standard requirements based on IEC 61508.

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