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White Papers

Justifying IEC 61511 Spend

Many companies subscribe to the thought process that simply completing compliance documentation identified by IEC 61511 is the end goal. Anything more than that is deemed too tedious and represents a substantial cost center. Unfortunately, documentation is just one aspect of the lifecycle, and one that isn’t substantially making your assets safer from one day to the next. We believe the essence of the standard is to not only generate documentation, but to monitor the performance of protections layers vs. assumptions made in the front of the lifecycle.  As poor assumptions are identified, companies can sustain their business by eliminating the root cause, therefore removing the previously invisible risk.

In this paper, we advocate that one should generate compliance documentation as efficiently as possible, but really focus on the impact of bad assumptions and putting a financial basis behind its meaning. This information can then be benchmarked on a monthly basis to set company targets, monitor improvement, and understand the impacts financially.

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aeSolutions' Safety System Lifecycle Management Solutions

Recently, aeSolutions briefed ARC Advisory Group on its safety lifecycle solution. The company was established over fifteen years ago as an auto- mation engineering and systems integration company focused on continuously improving the process safety performance of process indus- tries. About three years ago, the company productized its expertise in managing the safety system lifecycle in its aeShield product and maintains a dedicated staff of over 20 employees for its development. The company points to aeShield’s real-time ability to make an enterprise’s safety perfor- mance clearly visible to operations and management personnel as a key differentiator in the market.


A Database Approach to the Safety Lifecycle

A systematic database approach can be used to design, develop and test a Safety Instrumented System (SIS) using methodologies that are in compliance with the safety lifecycle management requirements specified in ANSI/ISA S84.01. This paper will demonstrate that through a database approach, the design deliverables and system configuration quality are improved and the implementation effort is reduced.


Validating Process Safety Assumptions using Operations Data

As facilities are assessing risk, making recommendations for gap closure, and designing safety instrumented functions (SIFs), assumptions are made to facilitate calculations in the design phase of protection layers used to reduce the likelihood of hazards occurring. Each of these assumptions are made based on design standards, process safety experience, and data supplied by the manufacturers concerning operability and reliability. The purpose of this white paper is to identify key assumptions and replace the assumptions with real-world operations data to prove that the risk may be greater than perceptions based on design. This case study will focus on looking at real functional test intervals verses those applied in the safety integrity level (SIL) calculations. It will also compare unsafe bypasses verses probability of failure on demand (PFD) and the count of initiating causes compared to the frequencies documented in the layer of protection analysis (LOPA).


Is Cost Effective Compliance with the IEC61511 Safety Lifecycle Sustainable?

IEC61511: Functional Safety – Safety Instrumented Systems for the Process Industry Sector mandates end users comply with a performance based approach to managing risks to personnel and / or the environment through adoption of the safety lifecycle.  Simplistically, the safety lifecycle embodies a three-step methodology to overall risk management, which can be summarized as follows:

  1. Execute safety lifecycle documentation
  2. Monitor leading/lagging process safety indicators
  3. Sustain safe unit operations through corrective actions

While the concept of execute, monitor and sustain seems straightforward, for a variety of reasons, most companies who have committed to the IEC61511 journey, are solely focused on the execution of safety lifecycle documentation.  This myopic approach will result in their failure to realize the full benefits to their organization of a cost effective risk management program.  In addition, without development of a holistic multi-year plan for safety lifecycle compliance, end user companies can expect to incur significant regret costs and schedule delays as they attempt to change the safety culture of their organization around adoption of IEC61511.

This paper will draw upon insight and more importantly critical lessons learned through the actual application of the safety lifecycle and from initial grandfathering through operations and  maintenance ownership associated with numerous clients since aeSolutions’ formation in 1998.  A proven roadmap for efficient and cost effective safety lifecycle compliance and  risk management will be defined, which emphasizes the use of an evergreen work process to support the concepts of execute, monitor and sustain.