Product design: Standards, error avoidance help

Look at how standards and error avoidance helped with applying new level technology to a process sensor for insights into other automation designs.

By Dean Mallon, Endress+Hauser February 12, 2018

Product design begins with two main foundations: customers’ process expectations and developing safe, reliable products. Product certification, including SIL 2/3 certified product lines, provides additional attention to detail.

Frequent device upgrades should be performed in line with the latest requirements. Safety design has been optimized over decades. Product development recommendations begin with customers first. Customers request time-saving safety equipment testing without needing to remove any equipment or shut the plant down.

Emphasis on standardized device platforms increase safety, reliability, and reduce costs for planning, procurement, and operation. Standardized device concepts across all measuring parameters create invaluable benefits in terms of reducing complexity.  

Operation, errors, spares

When creating product design standards across platforms and complying with industry standards, consider:  

  • Device operation and documentation
  • Status and error diagnosis
  • Components and spare parts. Looking at how those considerations apply to a specific product can help. In designing a radar level instrument, some product design characteristics follow.
  • Operating at a transmission of 80 GHz opened new possibilities for demanding application conditions thanks to small emission characteristics of 3° for simple commissioning. Existing components installed in the application have minimal or no effect on the reflection signal.
  • Free space radar was developed in accordance with IEC 61508 Functional Safety.
  • Heartbeat Technology enabled integration of diagnostics, verification, and monitoring functionalities into the control system. 

Error avoidance

Design around preventing systematic errors. Standards and recommendations for functional safety include detailed descriptions of the requirements for process control safety equipment and its operation. The key point is to prevent systematic errors and reduce the possible residual risk in process control safety equipment to a minimum.

Dean Mallon is national product manager-level, Endress+Hauser. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media,

KEYWORDS Product design, radar level measurement, process sensor

  • Standards help with automation product design
  • Design for safety
  • Look at how to avoid errors.


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