Fortunately, industrial safety has been significantly impacted by the digitization of processes in the sector. The integration of technologies has brought about an evolution in system protection, albeit generating new needs and responsibilities, such as the so-called Functional Design Specification in industrial control software or FDS.
What Is Functional Design Specification for Industrial Control System Software?
Known as Functional Design Specification (FDS) in English-speaking countries, it involves designing computer tools based on user needs and requirements. Industrial control software dedicated to functional safety is a valuable support for thousands of professionals and must meet their demands, considering the importance of user-friendly operation.
The Process of Functional Design for Industrial Control Software
The specification of functional design is based on a process that must focus on three fundamental aspects: the software’s functional design, the application’s objectives, and its implementation in the industry. All of this revolves around the user, specifying logical flows in systems, information organization, and data processing rules.
Planning and prototyping design
When planning the functional design of safety software, it’s advisable to develop prototypes that allow user interaction. This enhances efficiency in the tool’s subsequent implementation, as it enables workers to understand it directly and tangibly. In this way, they can offer their input for improvements before development.
Setting objectives in industrial control software design
To establish software objectives, it’s essential to focus on aspects such as the tasks to be performed with the tool, functional requirements, and the technical foundation on which it’s built. Additionally, revisiting prototyping is recommended to repeat tests in diagnosing needs.
Implementing functional designs in industrial control
Implementing software based on functional design requires considering the integration of various individual modules and their interactions. Simultaneously, it’s beneficial to include a manual explaining workflow and visually describe key aspects of regular tool use.
Crucial Aspects in Functional Design for Industrial Software
When discussing the design of instrumented functional safety systems in the industrial sector, attention must be paid to certain aspects that are part of the creation and application of each software dedicated to these purposes. This task cannot be undertaken without addressing the following issues in the process.
Following strategies and patterns in software design
The industrial sector is highly methodical and organized in terms of processes, both in production and functional safety. When designing and developing industrial control software, it’s advisable to adhere to a consistent pattern that doesn’t vary significantly from one application to another. This ensures user-friendliness despite changes or updates to the tool.
The user and their requirements as the center of functional design
As mentioned earlier, the user’s importance in the functional design of industrial control software cannot be overstated. The safety of an organization’s people, processes, and facilities is at stake, making it crucial to consider employees’ overall needs in product design and development.
Documenting the functional design of Instrumented Safety Systems (SIS)
One key aspect of designing instrumented safety systems is documenting the entire process. This serves as a form of traceability that should also be applied when dealing with industrial control software. But what is the purpose of registering the design process? Continuous improvement, problem identification, improvement opportunities, and user learning simplification.
The final product: Functional Design Specifications (FSD)
The documentation mentioned earlier should result in explanatory documents for the user. The FSD incorporates the requirements implemented in the software and is intended for the end product. Furthermore, it’s advisable for users to provide feedback to facilitate potential improvements in future tool updates.
Functionality Assurance as Part of Functional Design
Functional design is a fundamental aspect of safety in industrial processes. Therefore, it’s vital for experts to be responsible for it. This ensures that both instrumented systems and industrial control software provide certain guarantees in their operation. Otherwise, how could they be applied in high-risk environments?
Positive Engineering as a Solution in Functional Design
As experts in safety, Positive Engineering has analyzed and assessed numerous instrumented safety systems. We have an in-depth understanding of relevant regulations and recognize the user’s role in industrial control software design. Many organizations trust our services with complete confidence.