exida explains Blog

Learning From History So We Don’t Repeat It – New Tools

Learning From History So We Don’t Repeat It – New Tools

According to numerous industry studies, significant improvement has been made over the last 20 -30 years in occupational safety, but not so much in operational safety (process safety).  New process safety incidents continue to occur that bear a striking resemblance to previous incidents. This means we are not effectively learning…

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Why Sharing Components Between SIS & BPCS Is Not A Good Idea

Why Sharing Components Between SIS & BPCS Is Not A Good Idea

This is a topic which comes up time and again, especially when reviewing legacy systems.  Although IEC61511 doesn’t preclude the use of shared devices, it does however provide guidance under Clause 11 of what the constraints are.  Even though the Safety Instrumented System (SIS) and Basic Process Control System (BPCS)…

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Strong Safety Culture Translates to Lower Insurance Premiums

Strong Safety Culture Translates to Lower Insurance Premiums

Insurance Companies are hedging their bets through premiums while the Manufacturing Industry is placing their wagers on luck.

The worlds of gambling and insurance are similar in many ways. Both are built upon elements of probability, modeling and quantification of risk. Professional gamblers are well informed on the odds…

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The Dos and Don’t of SIS Application Programming

The Dos and Don’t of SIS Application Programming

It’s interesting that the majority of the time when people talk about functional safety, they are usually thinking about hardware: what sensors to use, which logic solver, what actuator, solenoid or valve to select; what voting architecture, etc.  What often gets overlooked, initially, is the application program.

Essentially, when…

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How the PHA and LOPA are going to affect your SIS

How the PHA and LOPA are going to affect your SIS

Both Process Safety Analysis (PHA) and Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA) occur in the early stage of the Functional Safety Lifecycle, detailed in both IEC 61511 and IEC 61508. They both serve significant roles in the whole process safety management. Yet, as a facilitator…

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Share the Wealth (of Functional Safety Knowledge)

Share the Wealth (of Functional Safety Knowledge)

Experience is a good teacher.  But how do you get the experience?  

Formal classroom or online training is often available for more general skills, but on-the-job training usually provides a more in-depth path to gain such experience.  After doing a job for a while, working through difficulties with colleagues,…

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IEC 62061 Machine Safety: “It’s simply the right thing to do”

IEC 62061 Machine Safety: “It’s simply the right thing to do”

I can't begin to tell you how many of our customers share with us how lucky they have been to be incident-free at their plant.

Or, because they have not had an incident in over 10 years, it is hard to justify the cost of a Machine Hazard…

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Back to Basics: Failure Rates - λS

Back to Basics: Failure Rates - λS

The Greek symbol  λS represents safe or spurious failure rates in functional safety expressed in the unit of measurement of FITs which can be determined through FMEDAs. (FITs (λ) are failures per billion hours, expressed by 10-9 hours).

λS is the number of safe…

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IEC61511 and Failure Rates

IEC61511 and Failure Rates

Most end users I teach in our FSE100 class are not really aware of or fully, understand when we talk about failure rates.  For example, what’s a FIT mean?  For those end users more versed in this, they understand what is meant by a FIT.  Essentially a device can have…

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Know Your Human Error (Part II)

Know Your Human Error (Part II)

 

“…there is a belief amongst many engineers and managers that human error is both inevitable and unpredictable. 

However, human error is inevitable only if people are placed in situations that emphasize human weaknesses and that do not support human strengths”

Martin Anderson, IChemE Safety and Loss Prevention…

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Functional Safety Management Systems & Engineering Companies

Functional Safety Management Systems & Engineering Companies

In recent discussions with several engineering and integrators of Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS), it’s become very clear to me that the majority I have spoken to, don’t have any form of Functional Safety Management System (FSMS) in place.  This is interesting because one of the changes in the…

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OLD component data = Bad FMEDAs

OLD component data = Bad FMEDAs

When we first invented the FMEDA technique in the late 1980s the biggest problem was the component failure rate and failure mode data.  Still is.  I picked up a well-known standard for component failure rates and saw a date of 2010.  The technology world has gone through an order of…

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Back to Basics: Failure Rates - λDD

Back to Basics: Failure Rates - λDD

The Greek symbol  λDD is the detectable dangerous failure rate in functional safety expressed in the unit of measurement of FITs which can be determined through FMEDAs. (FITs (λ) are failures per billion hours, expressed by 10-9 hours).

Lambda DD

λDD is the number of…

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Risk Management in the News

Risk Management in the News

I just read a great article in the May issue of IEEE Spectrum magazine called “Managing Risk and Responsibility During a Crisis.”  The author Robert N. Charette says “If the American people desire the federal government to be their risk manager of first resort, then an open and…

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What is Prior Use Justification?

What is Prior Use Justification?

When it comes to IEC61511 and the selection of equipment for use within Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) and Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF), there are only two methods that can be used to justify selection: IEC61508 Certified devices for the required SIL or Prior Use Justification.  Just…

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