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Failure Rate Analysis Paralysis

Failure Rate Analysis Paralysis

Reliability Engineering experts know there are many variables that impact operational failure rates.  These variables even include how operations and maintenance are done at a specific site.  Sometimes it feels like there are so many variables that no realistic failure rate can ever be predicted without a few hundred hours of…

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Alarm Rationalization by the Numbers

Alarm Rationalization by the Numbers

“How much time does alarm rationalization take?” 

It finally happened. Alarm management problems at the plant led to an incident and now management wants action. You have “volunteered” to put together a plan to execute alarm rationalization. You need to create a defendable estimate of how long rationalization will…

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Being Prepared in Cyberspace via Threat Modelling

Being Prepared in Cyberspace via Threat Modelling

Preparedness is defined as being in a state of readiness (Webster, 2022).  This can take many different forms but when it comes to cybersecurity, a big part is knowing what threats lie in wait within the cyber landscape.  It’s difficult to prepare against threats or vulnerabilities you don’t know exist.  Being able…

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Four Ways to Pick a Winning Alarm Rationalization Team

Four Ways to Pick a Winning Alarm Rationalization Team

“Who should participate in alarm rationalization?” 

It finally happened. Alarm management problems at the plant led to an incident and now management wants action. You have “volunteered” to put together a staffing plan to execute alarm rationalization. You have heard it can be a resource-intensive process, so you want…

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Competency and IEC61511

Competency and IEC61511

Many of you who follow exida’s blogs and webinars will know that we often talk about the requirement for competency.  In fact, the 2016 edition of IEC61511 specifically addresses competency in more detail now than the 2003 version.  The strong emphasis on competency is because the IEC61511 committee recognized that…

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Most Failures are Systematic - NOT!
  • by Dr. William Goble, CFSE
  • Wednesday, February 16, 2022
  • Certification

Most Failures are Systematic - NOT!

At exida we have studied hundreds of sets of field failure data from various sources.  Some of these data sets have indicated differences in failure rates by two orders of magnitude for the same product type!  After tracing through the data collection process for many of these field failure data sets,…

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The Importance Of Considering Common Cause with Redundant Systems

The Importance Of Considering Common Cause with Redundant Systems

Common Cause is one of those variables that is not always considered important when it comes to SIL compliance.  And yet, for redundant systems, it can have a significant impact on the PFDavg and Risk Reduction achieved (in Low Demand mode) or PFH (in high or continuous mode).  Most of the…

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Demystifying the Threat Modeling Process

Demystifying the Threat Modeling Process

The thought of tackling a threat model (TM) might not be the most appetizing to some people.   Doing a quick Internet search, someone could get stuck under a mountain of acronyms and terms.  I mean, what is a CVSS anyway?  And then there are the diagrams, attack trees and feedback loops that…

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Machinery Hazards and Risk Assessment Techniques

Machinery Hazards and Risk Assessment Techniques

Machinery related hazards continue to result in hundreds of deaths and thousands of serious injuries each year. In 2019, 2,963 deaths occurred in the construction, transportation and warehousing, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and manufacturing industries in the United States1. Additionally, serious injuries continue to pose a major challenge…

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If an Alarm Occurs and the Operator doesn’t Ack it, was it really an Alarm?

If an Alarm Occurs and the Operator doesn’t Ack it, was it really an Alarm?

Similar to the thought experiment “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”, we ask - If an alarm is generated, and the operator fails to acknowledge it, was it really an alarm? A prevalence of unacknowledged…

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Measuring Performance – Why Are We Not Doing This?

Measuring Performance – Why Are We Not Doing This?

Part of the changes to the IEC61511 standard in 2016, some five (5) years ago now, was to emphasize the need to do a better job with regards to the Operations and Maintenance phase of the safety lifecycle.  One of the key aspects of the Operation and Maintenance phase…

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Can Nuisance Alarms “Break” the Operator?

Can Nuisance Alarms “Break” the Operator?

Study after study finds that something like 80% of industrial incidents (give or take) are caused by Human Error. Incidents involving human error often include a failure of the operator to respond to an alarm, which is often directly or indirectly caused by nuisance alarms. Poor alarm management has…

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FAQ: More Failures with Actuated Valves than what published failure rates indicate?

FAQ: More Failures with Actuated Valves than what published failure rates indicate?

During a recent exida webinar we received the following question:

We tend to see more failures with actuated valves, than what manufacturers published failure rates would indicate! Any reason?

There are several reasons. Some manufacturers publish data based on field return data where they classify failures caused by customers…

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“Data is King” – Introducing the Sovereign of Component Reliability Databases
  • by Todd Stauffer
  • Thursday, August 12, 2021
  • Software

“Data is King” – Introducing the Sovereign of Component Reliability Databases

With the drive for digitalization and the Internet of Things the expression “Content is King”, coined by Bill Gates, has now been replaced by “Data is King”. This is especially TRUE in functional safety where the safety and reliability predictions generated from a Failure Modes, Effects & Diagnostics Analysis…

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Closing Two Common IEC 62443 Compliance Gaps

Closing Two Common IEC 62443 Compliance Gaps

Two common gaps exida encounters when evaluating vendor compliance against the IEC 62443-4-1, IEC 62443-4-2 and IEC 62443-3-3 standards are:

  1. Inadequate or unclear Security Guidelines.    
  2. A lack of documentation on the security audit records (AKA logs).   

Improving compliance in these areas is also a very cost-effective…

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