Everything you need to Know about IEC 62368?

With the world changing and technology evolving, don’t be surprised that almost everything has detectors installed on them. In recent years, products get to the market with different types of technologies installed in them. Checking if those technologies are safe was quite unimaginable just a few years ago.

However, things have quite changed now. Everyone knows how important it is to test the safety of all the products they are using, both for people and for the environment. It is important to protect the people using those products as well as the environment they live in.

Some of the things you are protecting the people and the environment from include electric shocks, electromagnetic fields, and fire amongst many other hazards that may potentially be caused by energy sources. There are multiple traditional standards set to help prevent these types of accidents from happening.

IEC 62368 is one of those safety standards. When it comes to music, audio, videos, and other information and communication technologies, this safety standard is applied. This is based on hazard-based safety principles and is meant to be proof of the future.

What is IEC 62368

This is a completely new concept of product safety. It is not merged with existing standards but it sure covers the traditional standards including IEC 60065 and IEC 60950 (the future looks to replace this in due time). That means IEC 62368 works even more efficiently.

It supports technology converges and the recent state of the art technologies. It is supported by research, field data, and sound engineering principles. Instead of taking the reactive perspective based on incidents, it takes the proactive approach based on risk.

What this means is that it identifies hazards and tests how effective the safeguards are and it relies on the performance testing. It may be different from the older IEC standards in approach, but it provides multiple benefits, efficient in providing safety solutions by merging different technologies. 

These technologies we see in electronic equipment designs, the ecosystem, installation of the equipment and how they are used, the system itself, and more. It makes your products future-proof and ensures that all the potential hazards have been taken into account.

Functionality

The incorporation of different technologies doesn’t just depend on the physical components but also the software in itself. The products’ safety goes beyond the physical layers as any software mishaps in performance can lead to serious hazards. 

There are two types of functionality and safety;

  • Basic Safety

This protects against physical hazards including environmental damage, fire, shocks, and such, which are usually the end results of the physical construction and design of a product.

For example, a smoke detector; for it to work, the design and construction are the core factor. It should be made to detect smoke when it is rising up to the roof or the ceiling without it getting damaged; catching fire or falling apart. That is what it is for as far as basic safety.

But, what if the software crashes? That will only mean the smoke detector will not work seamlessly. It affects the functionality; it may turn off making it useless in case of any other risks. The software may not sound to add a lot to the functionality but it can still affect its operations because it is still a safety-related application.

  • Functional Safety

Let’s take an example; something happens to the software in the door lock of your oven with your cooking (in the case where your oven opens or closes based on temperature and functioning is based on programmable electronic application). Your turkey would reduce to ashes, or something worse could even happen, like a fire breakout and your house goes up in flames.

That is functionality safety; it helps protect against physical risks caused by electronic safety-related functions. In simple terms, how safe is a product in case something fails to function accordingly? In this light, product safety is moving to embedded software from the hardware.

Different safety standards cater to different functional safety. Some focus on household electronic use while others are developed to cater to other specific functional safety applications. Whatever the case, it is still important to ensure all the products are well tested for compliance with the safety standards.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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