BSI is launching a new BSI Kitemark for Functional Safety of Electrical, Electronic and Programmable Electronic Systems to help manufacturers demonstrate that their products are effective, fit for purpose and can function in times of emergency.
The BSI Kitemark for Functional Safety will verify that a manufacturer's electrical or electronic safeguarding systems will perform when required, and at critical times throughout their lifecycle. This may include products such as emergency lighting, fire and security alarms or valve and emergency shut-offs. The first product to achieve the Kitemark is ABB's Emerg-ilite EMEX Power central battery system for emergency lighting.
Functional Safety is increasingly becoming a requirement to prove the reliability of safety-related products to customers and specifiers, in the event of incidents such as operator errors, hardware failures or environmental changes. In order to measure the safety performance or probability of failure for a system designers specify SILs (Safety Integrity Levels) – the higher the SIL level, the lower the probability of failure and the better the performance of the system.
The new Kitemark rigorously and independently verifies the SIL, providing assurance that these safeguard systems will work exactly as they should, even if they are dormant for extended periods. The scheme has been developed for applications where the consequences of failure could result in significant risk to the public, employees or environment. For example in fuel storage depots, shopping malls or hotels.
In order to achieve the BSI Kitemark for Functional Safety, manufacturers will be independently assessed against the requirements of EN 61508 Functional safety of electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety-related systems. BSI's technical experts will validate that the manufacturer's capabilities and processes for generating products meet the required SIL throughout the sixteen phases of the safety lifecycle. As with other Kitemarks, organisations holding the Kitemark will be routinely assessed.
Safety and reliability
Darren Birch, Global Product Line Manager at ABB Emergilite, says: "Obtaining the third-party Kitemark certificate from BSI is essential to give the specifier, designer and user (the responsible persons) the peace of mind that the product is fit for purpose and has the highest qualifications in its class for safety and reliability.
"In today's emergency lighting market the competition is fierce and we are flooded with products at lower price points and claimed benefits. However, we strongly believe that our products should be a pinnacle of what safety products are meant to stand for, and this certification, along with others we hold, provides an excellent standpoint to emphasise this."
Natasha Bambridge, UK Product Certification Director at BSI, adds: "The industry is increasingly using automated safeguarding systems, therefore it is vital that the necessary processes are put in place to prevent injury to people and livestock, damage to assets or environmental harm.
"The BSI Kitemark has a long-established history of supporting organisations and consumers to help them manufacture and select products and services that they can trust, with new schemes being developed in response to societal needs. Achieving this independent third-party certification will help organisations to demonstrate that the Safety Integrity Level claimed for the product can be achieved."
Follow the link for more information about the new BSI Kitemark for Functional Safety of Electrical, Electronic and Programmable Electronic Systems.