IEC 61508: SIL Certification for COPA-DATA

The most important objective in relation to our intended SIL certification was to amend the structures, processes and requirements that had existed for years at COPA-DATA to the requirements of IEC 61508. The requirements should be implemented in such a way that they can be integrated into our daily working life.

In doing so, it was helpful that our product development was operated on the basis of a V-model and on well-established tools used in lifecycle management for example, which have been in use for years. As part of the SIL project, special central definitions for safety-related developments were created and amendments to existing methods were carried out together with TÜV Süd. The most important were

Safety lifecycle:

Defines the complete lifecycle of a safety-related component. From planning through development and testing to defect management and the provision of the components.

Safety plan:

The safety plan is used during a development project as a type of project management handbook.

Templates for requirements and performance specification:

Special templates for safety-related components ensure complete coverage of the requirement and forwards and backwards traceability.

SIL programming guidelines:

Special coding guidelines on the basis of MISRA 2012 and corresponding checks through static code analyses ensure that there are no systematic programming errors.

Safety handbook:

Describes the implementation and test results of a safety-related component and provides the user with information on correct use.


Adaptation of all tools that are used as part of the lifecycle for the enhanced processes and requirements of IEC 61508.


Training of the employees involved in the specifics of IEC 61508.

The audit for our certification in accordance with SIL 2 ultimately took place in summer 2014 and was carried out by TÜV Süd Munich, an independent and neutral body. In doing so, our processes, procedures, tools, quality standards and documentation were tested for their suitability for safety-critical systems. In fall 2014, TÜV Süd confirmed that all necessary requirements for the display of the official certificate for SIL 2 had been met.

zenon can thus be used in safety-critical applications for process visualization and control. Numerous safety-related functions support our customers in the creation of safe applications. In addition, certification by TÜV Süd creates the necessary underlying conditions for safety-compliant implementation.


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