Complying with International Safety Standard IEC 61511

by | Mar 15, 2006 | Safety

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

With the global acceptance of the performance-based safety standard IEC 61511 (ANSI/ISA-84.00.01 in the U.S.), process manufacturers are responsible for designing and implementing safety systems that ensure a tolerable level of risk is maintained throughout their plants’ respective lifetimes. In addition, many manufacturers now have fewer engineering resources than they once did to address these regulations, standards and other issues.

Emerson has been working to address these concerns with both technology and safety expertise. As part of its smart SIS approach to safety, a wide range of field devices and logic solvers have been introduced that are SIL-rated and independently certified by a third party such as TÜV. These devices range from Rosemount 3051S certified pressure and 3144P temperature transmitters, to Fisher DVC6000 smart valve positioners and Bettis SIL-PAC for final control elements, to Micro Motion SIL rated Mass flow meters and DeltaV SIS logic solvers.

But, as important as the technology component is, the expertise to apply it is equally critical. For many years Emerson project engineers around the world have been integrating safety instrumented systems (SIS) of other suppliers with Emerson products such as the DeltaV system.

I spoke with Engineering Fellow Len Laskowski, a certified functional safety expert (CFSE) and professional engineer in our Refining and Chemical Industry group about how Emerson approaches the safety lifecycle in projects with its customers.

Len stressed that with IEC 61511, we now have an internationally accepted best practice for implementing an SIS, so it only makes sense to follow this standard. As a result, Emerson has embedded it in its global engineering procedures so wherever a project is executed in the world, IEC 61511 is followed.

Emerson became the first supplier with TÜV-certified procedures and engineering processes to help process manufacturers assure compliance to the standard. In addition to this certification, Emerson has encouraged many of its project engineers to study and pass the CFSE exam which accredits individuals in the area of functional process safety similar to regions which accredit engineers as a PE or Professional Engineer in their region of residence.

Every engineer that performs a safety critical task on a safety project with smart SIS technology including DeltaV SIS must be trained and certified by Emerson prior to doing the work. Given the focus on this certification, Emerson now has 31 global CFSEs, twice as many as any other supplier. And more than 100 are certified by Emerson’s project management office for the various roles required in an SIS project.

In Len’s industry center, they have completed DeltaV SIS projects as small as single burner BMS (Burner Management System) to as complex as a new Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel unit for a major refinery. Many more projects are in progress.

Ongoing support across the safety lifecycle is addressed with SureService smart SIS support.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.