Our in-house electronics manufacturing facility ensures our designers have a keen understanding of the practical and commercial aspects of design.
Industrial control and sensing
Design for manufacture
Power Supply / SMPS
Safety critical designs
Multi-layer PCB Layout
Embedded firmware across many platforms
PC Application support
Mutech provide a range of electronics manufacturing services from our modern and versatile facility. Quality is embedded in our culture and systems. Our people have a vast array of manufacturing experience and are always focused on the customer’s needs.
Manufacturing services include:
Fast turnaround production
Small prototype runs to medium volume production
Automated SMT assembly including 01005 fine pitch, BGA and flat pack
Conventional through-hole assembly IPC A 610 rev E Class 3
Vapour phase reflow
Automated optical inspection (AOI)
ATE and functional test
What is intrinsic safety ?
Intrinsic safety is a “Type of Protection” to avoid electrical equipment from causing a fire or explosion in a hazardous area where there could be flammable gas or dust. There are several other Types of Protection which mostly provide physical protection, such as encapsulation, oil immersion, powder filling, plus the common “flame proof” (or “explosion proof” in North America) enclosure whereby an ignition is permitted within the equipment, but the enclosure contains the fire so that it cannot reach the atmosphere outside.
Intrinsic safety is different in that it is largely not a physical type of protection. Instead, electronic circuits are design so that, under defined fault conditions, there is insufficient power for the surface of any component to get too hot, and insufficient energy storage (in capacitors, inductors, or power from a battery or power supply) for short or open circuits to generate a juicy enough spark to cause an ignition.
For Zones 0 and 1 (Division 1 in North America), the faults to be considered are quite onerous, requiring detailed design and assessment, and the use of various techniques to limit voltage, current and power.
For Zone 2 (Division 2 in North America), the faults considered are much less onerous which makes the design and assessment simpler. Nonetheless, specialist knowledge is required.
The principle standard for the design and assessment of intrinsically safe equipment is IEC 60079 11, though there are national variations to this around the world.
Mutech can design both hardware (to 61508-2) and embedded software (to 61508-3) to SIL 1, 2 or 3. We are active members of the 61508 Association and participate in the working group for software assessment.
What is functional safety?
Functional safety is a process for reducing the risk of dangerous failure of electronically and software controlled safety instrumented systems (SIS).
Two types of failure are considered:
• Random hardware failures are predictable failures (e.g. the failure of a semiconductor), and are assigned failure rates dependent on the environment. A failure analysis (FMEA) produces failure rates such as probability of failure on demand, or the probability of a particular failure mode.
• Systematic failures are generally unpredictable, and have the distinction that a correction in the design or process will eliminate them. A classic example of this is a software bug: once fixed, it will not return. However, most systematic failures are people not doing things correctly (installation, inspection etc), and are eliminated with training, instructions and verification.
Since random hardware failures are relatively simple to analyse and calculate a failure rate to a high precision, there is a tendency to place high importance on them. However, the vast majority of incidents are causes by systematic failures rather than predictable hardware failures, and it is crucial for those involved in functional safety to recognise this and implement techniques and measures to eliminate systematic failures.
Functional safety places a strong emphasis on the whole lifecycle, from specification through to decommissioning.