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Functional Safety

We help improve the safety of products and the systems containing those products by navigating the complex technical challenges of today’s functional safety landscape.

Car being built on assembly line in factory with robot arm adding parts to car

Defining functional safety in today's systems 

Functional safety is about reducing the risks of simple and complex systems, such that they function safely in the event there is an electrical or electronic malfunction. As more products incorporate complex microelectronics and software into their design, it is becoming increasingly challenging for quality and safety engineers to assess and implement functional safety at the system level. A few examples of this include:          

Navigating Complexities of Functional Safety

Certification allows individuals to showcase their specialized knowledge, credibility and expertise in safe product design and development. Additionally, certified professionals can attempt eXpert level certification after proving five years of relevant work experience in the field and completing a UL Solutions audit of competency.

How UL Solutions helps shape the functional safety landscape

UL Solutions is dedicated to helping customers navigate the complex technical and regulatory challenges of today’s functional safety landscape. With our extensive certification expertise and holistic approach to safety engineering and assessment, we can help customers identify, specify and determine the functional safety of products and systems to key standards and ratings such as: 

  • Safety Integrity Level (SIL) as defined by International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61508 which is designed for the process, oil, gas and petrochemical industries. Additional standards are also derived for other industries, including:
    • Safety of machinery as defined by IEC/EN 62061, ISO 13849 and EN 15194
    • Safety instrumented systems (SIS) for the process industry as defined by IEC 61511 and ISA 84 (approved ANSI/ISA-61511) 
    • Power drive systems as defined by IEC 61800-5-2
    • Programmable controllers as defined by IEC 61131-6 
    • Railway applications as defined by EN 50126, EN 50128, EN 50129, EN 50155 and EN 50657, and their IEC equivalents (IEC 62278, IEC 62279 and IEC 62425) 
    • Power distribution as defined in UL 9540, the Standard for Energy Storage Systems and Equipment, and IEC 62619 
    • Safety related devices adapted in hazardous areas as defined in ATEX Directives, using EN 50495, EN 50271 and EN 1755
    • Commercial appliances and tools where safety software is defined in IEC 62841, UL 991, the Standard for Tests for Safety-Related Controls Employing Solid-State Devices, UL 1998, the Standard for Software in Programmable Components, and IEC/UL 60730-1 Annex H
  • Performance Level (PL) as defined by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 13849
  • Class of control function as defined by IEC/UL 60730-1
  • Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) as defined by ISO 26262
  • Autonomy safety as defined by ISO 21448 and UL 4600, the Standard for the Evaluation of Autonomous Products
  • Machinery standards: ISO 13849, IEC 62061, ISO 25119, ISO 19014, ISO 12100

Functional safety for product manufacturers

UL Solutions’ functional safety certification services qualify products for market access.

Equipment and machinery used in the manufacturing process are becoming increasingly complex through innovative applications of technology and software. Producers of these modern products must adhere to international functional safety requirements, such as the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC of Europe and U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, to gain access to customers in the global marketplace.

Our functional safety assessments and certifications are consolidated with fire and shock testing to uniquely provide customers with a single-source service that can help maximize financial and time-to-market efficiencies.

We expertly assess the SILs or PLs of equipment and systems against a variety of functional safety standards, including but not limited to IEC 61508, ISO 26262 (Automotive) and ISO 13849 (Machinery).

UL Solutions’ functional safety assessment and certification services and our proven history of safety science expertise and engineering enable us to help manufacturers meet the needs of international regulations while attracting a competitive marketing advantage through use of the UL Mark. Functional safety services can also be employed when other marks, approvals and general concerns need to be addressed.

Backed by our independent, third-party assessment and as an accredited Notified Body (NB) for the European Union (EU) Machinery Directive, UL Marks are well-recognized global symbols of safety excellence. They can help build trust and confidence in the safety of a product, while also providing a point of differentiation against competitors. UL Solutions can also provide a market differentiator to show when products are designed to include functional safety in addition to traditional end products standards.

UL Solutions provides functional safety for the following manufacturing equipment and systems:

  • Automotive systems
  • Autonomous products, robotics and vehicles
  • Battery management systems
  • Burner management systems
  • Control equipment
  • Electrosensitive protective equipment
  • Elevator equipment
  • Factory automation
  • Industrial automation
  • Machinery
  • Microcontrollers
  • Motor drives
  • Motor generator sets
  • Power converters and inverters
  • Process equipment
  • Robotic equipment
  • Safety control systems
  • Safety sensors
  • Software libraries
Functional safety for system integrators

We can help system integrators ensure the safe and reliable operation of subsystem components and assemblies. As industrial components, equipment and machinery become smarter and more connected, system integrators need to ensure the safety integrity of all components within the overall assemblies to avoid production downtime and improve personnel safety.

With UL Solutions’ extensive technical expertise in machinery safety for industrial automation, industrial tools and robotics, we are able to assist system integrators in the safe and successful integration of equipment and software processes for unique manufacturing objectives.

Through our in-depth and independent machinery risk assessments, we are able to pinpoint system inconsistencies and weaknesses that pose unacceptable safety risks to personnel at any point along the production process.

Our Risk Assessment Program as well as technical advisory services and training can help system integrators achieve compliance with the national and international standards including American National Standards Institute (ANSI) B11, ISO 12100, ISO 13849, ISO 25119, ISO 26262, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70, NFPA 70E or 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910 OSHA.

As a global leader in safety science and engineering, we provide system integrators with a comprehensive and independent third-party for the most complex manufacturing safety challenges.

UL Solutions provides functional safety for the following subsystem components and assemblies:

  • Automotive vehicles and tier 1 suppliers
  • Autonomous products, robotics and vehicles
  • Control equipment
  • Elevator equipment
  • Equipment guards
  • Factory automation
  • Industrial tools
  • Light curtains
  • Machinery
  • Process equipment
  • Safety equipment
Functional safety and the IoT

We are a global leader for evolving safety needs related to the IIoT, or Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0. This wave of innovation enables suppliers and manufacturers to optimize and automate processes and assets through the use of sensors, robotics, advanced analytics and intelligent networks.

Interconnected machinery, smart equipment and supply chain digitization is transforming production life cycle management practices around the world.

More and more manufacturers are seeking to integrate IIoT technology into production processes. We are an experienced leader that can help test and certify any equipment or software destined for working environments.

Our team of software and engineering experts assist customers with complex industrial control system safety challenges, helping to ensure safe and smooth interoperability of equipment by avoiding misinformation or missing data that could affect the acceptable safety levels and performance of an asset or product.

With extensive cross-industry experience in IIoT functionality, we can help all types of manufacturing customers mitigate the risk of production downtime resulting from personnel injury or offline machinery.

UL Solutions provides functional safety for the following smart equipment and systems:
  • Automotive systems
  • Factory automation
  • Human machine interfaces (HMIs)
  • Input/Output (I/O) and output devices
  • Industrial and fieldbus protocols
  • Industrial automation
  • Industrial sensors
  • Microcontrollers
  • Motion control equipment
  • Programmable logic controllers
  • Robotic equipment
  • Safety sensors
  • Sensor fusion

Benefits of working with UL Solutions for automotive and industrial functional safety

Building on our safety science and engineering expertise in many different functional safety domains — including automation and machinery, signaling and alarm systems, medical devices, automotive, autonomous vehicles, lighting and appliances — we provide customers with a single global partner for all safety challenges and specific market needs.

Manufacturers, system integrators and suppliers around the world are able to take advantage of the full depth of our services, bundling traditional UL Solutions product safety investigations with our functional safety assessments for greater project efficiencies and speed to market.

Whatever the need or challenge, we can help determine the best assessment process for specific products, based on the reasons for conducting a functional safety assessment and/or a product’s intended use.

Some European directives require a functional safety evaluation of specific products. Trade unions and regulatory bodies such as the U.S. OSHA require or encourage a functional safety evaluation in addition to a traditional safety evaluation. Insurers also may require a functional safety evaluation before a customer installs equipment in a workplace and may provide discounted premiums to customers who use products that have been evaluated for functional safety. We are expertly qualified to help customers address these unique requirements and can help reinforce a point of differentiation in the marketplace through the use of the UL Mark, one of the most recognized symbols in the world.

UL Marks for functional safety are available as a global, U.S., Canadian and European designation. We are United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited and a Notified Body (NB) for the (EU) Machinery Directive. Our functional safety Marks puts the safety rating — such as the SIL or PL  — directly with our Marks, making it easier for users and interested parties to understand exactly what and how the product and/or function has been certified.

Functional safety (FUSA) certification programs

In addition, UL Solutions provides personnel certification programs in functional safety.

Additional resources

UL Functional Safety and Cybersecurity Training

313.06 KB

Functional Safety Services

840.74 KB

Functional Safety Assessments and Audits

105.07 KB

Next-Generation Safety Strategies - Integrating Cybersecurity and Functional Safety

1.46 MB

Functional safety and cybersecurity service offering

103.18 KB

Safety of Electrification InfoSheet

398.44 KB

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