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Back to Basics! 04 - Safety Instrumented System (SIS)

Back to Basics! 04 - Safety Instrumented System (SIS)

In the following series of blogs, we'll go back to basics and run down everything you need to know to get started in functional safety.  We'll start with some more general terms and descriptions and make our way to more advanced material.

4. SIS

A SIS – Safety Instrumented…

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Back to Basics! 03 - Safety Instrumented Function (SIF)

Back to Basics! 03 - Safety Instrumented Function (SIF)

In the following series of blogs, we'll go back to basics and run down everything you need to know to get started in functional safety.  We'll start with some more general terms and descriptions and make our way to more advanced material.

3. SIF

SIF – Safety Instrumented Function…

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Back to Basics! 02 - Safety Integrity Level (SIL)

Back to Basics! 02 - Safety Integrity Level (SIL)

In the following series of blogs, we'll go back to basics and run down everything you need to know to get started in functional safety.  We'll start with some more general terms and descriptions and make our way to more advanced material.

2. Safety Integrity Level (SIL)

Safety…
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China Probes Factory as Death Toll Rises

China Probes Factory as Death Toll Rises

Walking into work last week and seeing this article reassured me why I work at exida.  Incidents, like this recent one at a pesticide plant in eastern China, are why we push every day to help educate people about the importance of functional safety.

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Back to Basics! 01 - Functional Safety

Back to Basics! 01 - Functional Safety

In the following series of blogs, we'll go back to basics and run down everything you need to know to get started in functional safety.  We'll start with some more general terms and descriptions and make our way to more advanced material.

1. Functional Safety

Functional safety means the…

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Setting Goals for 2019: Are You Thinking About Functional Safety?

Setting Goals for 2019: Are You Thinking About Functional Safety?

When I went to set my goals for 2019, I set both personal and professional goals. One of my professional goals is to clean off my desk, but another is to get more people to think about functional safety before an accident occurs, instead of when they are normally…

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Are You Undertaking Periodic Personnel Performance Assessments?

Are You Undertaking Periodic Personnel Performance Assessments?

One of the changes that was made in 2016 to the IEC 61511 standard was the inclusion of periodic personnel assessments (clause 5.2.2.3), whereby a procedure is required to manage the competence of all those involved in the SIS lifecycle; “periodic” assessments are to be carried out to document…

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Does Your Burner Management System Meet Your Tolerable Risk?

Does Your Burner Management System Meet Your Tolerable Risk?

My previous blog mentioned the fact that a Burner Management System (BMS) is unique, in that this instrumented layer is the last line of defense and may be the only protection layer in the case of a BPCS failure.

Have you ever performed an analysis to determine…

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Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment of Collaborative Robotic Systems

Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment of Collaborative Robotic Systems

The world of collaborative robots, or cobots, is making headway. According to a recent report by the International Federation of Robots (IFR), along with Loup Ventures, global robotics spending will reach $13 billion in 2025. Currently, collaborative robots only make up about 3% of all robot sales. This number…

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Is It Possible to Extend Proof Test Intervals?

Is It Possible to Extend Proof Test Intervals?

I am often asked whether extending proof test intervals will be a problem. 

This is a tricky question. The design and engineering SIL calculations for the Safety Instrumented Functions (SIFs) are taking credit for a specific proof test interval with a defined level of coverage, as defined within the…

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Functional Safety Assessment of Valve Assemblies (Part 3)

Functional Safety Assessment of Valve Assemblies (Part 3)

In Part 1, we covered the emerging trends in the valve assembly market, how these trends relate to IEC 61511 requirements, and the anatomy of final elements. In Part 2, we discussed the need to show requirements traceability down through the design of the safety instrumented function…

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Burner Management Systems (BMS) and IEC 61511

Burner Management Systems (BMS) and IEC 61511

Prescriptive BMS standards contain a wealth of knowledge on combustion hazards, unit sequence of operation, and the equipment configuration required for combustion safeguards and combustion control. This experience cannot be overlooked; there is just not a Safety Lifecycle to tie in the Functional Safety Management of the BMS.

That…

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Fake Fact: Diagnostics are useless

Fake Fact: Diagnostics are useless

The idea that diagnostics are useless contradicts everything I’ve ever learned and taught about diagnostics. 

Diagnostics help identify problems. Diagnostics can turn a fault that is unrevealed during normal operation into a detected fault, which allows me to take action. That action could be an automatic transition to the…

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Functional Safety Assessment of Valve Assemblies (Part 2)

Functional Safety Assessment of Valve Assemblies (Part 2)

In Part 1, I covered the emerging trends in the valve assembly market, how these trends relate to IEC 61511 requirements, and the anatomy of final elements.

Now let’s discuss why we need to show requirements traceability down through the design of the safety instrumented function and then…

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Do You Measure the Performance of Your SIS?

Do You Measure the Performance of Your SIS?

It always amazes me that when teaching our FSE 100 Functional Safety Engineering course, the number of times I find that end users in the class are not really measuring the performance of their SIS. In most cases, they are doing some measurements, but not thoroughly.

It…

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