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Functional Safety

Supporting our Hazard Analysis solutions, we conduct Safety Integrity Level (SIL) assessment, verification, certification and auditing to evaluate systems and equipment designed to actively prevent unacceptable safety risk. We provide both consulting and training services based around IEC 61508 / 61511 / 61513 and related functional safety standards.

Software and Consulting

Our consultants have expertise in the wide range of technologies within safety-related control systems and experience of the tools and techniques to analyse such systems and assure their integrity. We provide chairman, facilitators & scribes and are familiar using TRAC and similar software to record & process assessment work on safety instrumented systems.

Commencing with a Hazard Analysis and development of the Safety Requirement Specifications (SRS), we use a range of methods to apply a SIL, including risk graphs, risk matrices and, most frequently, layer of protection analysis (LOPA). SIL targets may be supported by a Consequence Analysis. Safety Instrument Functions (SIFs) are then determined.

SIL assessment, validation and certification services are provided for IEC61508 and IEC61511 standards. We are also familiar with related industrial specifications such as IEC 61513 for Nuclear and BS EN 50126 / 50129 for railway applications.

In addition to consulting and mentoring, we disseminate our detailed knowledge of IEC 61508, 61511 and 61513 through a range of functional safety and alarm systems management training courses.

Solutions

Fault Tree Analysis

Deduct the causes of a failure before it occurss and assess the risk and probability of an undesirable event.

The purpose of FTA is to deduct the causes of a failure before it occurs, in order to :

  • Prevent it from happening
  • Reduce the probability of it happening
  • Minimise the effects of it happening

BowTie diagrams are unique in their ability to visualise complex risks in a way that is understandable, yet also allows for detailed risk-based improvement plans.

It is visual tool to keep an overview of risk management practices by creating a clear differentiation between the proactive and reactive side of risk management. It provides you with an overview of multiple possible incident states and shows what barriers you have in place to control them.

Root Cause Analysis

Structured long-term solution to correct or eliminate causes and prevent a problem from recurring

Every company encounters problems that need solving, whether they are catastrophic such as; the Chernobyl reactor explosion, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the Union Carbide cyanide gas leak; or of a more common nature such as; turn-around times are too slow, too many warranty returns, production quality isn’t good enough.

In science and engineering, RCA is a structured long-term solution used to correct or eliminate the cause, and prevent a problem from recurring. It will improve efficiency by addressing the causes rather than the effects, i.e. stop wasting time fire fighting.

It is widely used in IT operations, telecommunications, industrial process control, accident analysis (e.g., in aviation, rail transport, or nuclear plants), medicine and healthcare etc.

RCA generally serves as input to a remediation process whereby corrective actions are taken to prevent the problem from reoccurring. The name of this process varies from one application domain to another.

Typical RCA steps:

  • Identify and describe the problem clearly
  • Understand the problem, check the data
  • Take Immediate action with a temporary fix
  • Apply corrective action to mitigate or eliminate the cause
  • Confirm the solution is working

Methods employed are:

  • Data / Failure Recording And Corrective Action System (DRACAS / FRACAS)
  • To record all events during testing, commissioning/installation and in-service operation
  • In order to conduct efficient RCA, good quality data is essential.
  • Use Big Data analytics to visualise and identify bad actors, KPIs and trends for early warning
  • Choose the most appropriate Problem Resolution method
  • Ad-hoc investigation if you don’t have sufficient failures & data to see a pattern using Brainstorming, DoE, Scatter Diagrams, The 5 Whys
  • Pareto Chart to show their relative significance
  • DMAIC for multiple root causes
  • Kepner Tregoe for single root cause
  • Fishbone (Ishikawa) Diagram cause and effect, sort causes into categories
  • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) to explore potential defects or failures, consequences and causes
Process Hazard Analysis

Identify risk at the first stage of the process

A hazard analysis, such as HAZOP, is used as the first step in a process used to identify risk. With specific experience of all relevant health and safety standards, we can help you demonstrate compliance in a cost-effective way to and ensure risks are ALARP. Our team comprises Chartered Engineers or recognised specialists with substantial experience of process safety, functional safety and environmental issues.

Independent of any design house or equipment supplier, we can provide the impartial perspective of a neutral consultant when preferred by standards or regulations. Many of our engineers have been formally approved by companies for activities such as HAZID, ENVID, HAZOP chairpersons and as FSA & PHSER assessors.

We provide chairpersons, facilitators and scribes to undertake qualitative and quantitative risk assessment studies in the UK and across the world. We have international safety clients in South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Algeria, United Arab Emirates and other countries.

SIL Assessments & Verification

Evaluate systems and equipment designed to actively prevent unacceptable safety risk, based around IEC 61508 / 61511 and related functional safety standards.

Supporting our Hazard Analysis solutions, we conduct Safety Integrity Level (SIL) assessment, verification, certification and auditing to evaluate systems and equipment designed to actively prevent unacceptable safety risk.

Commencing with a Hazard Analysis and development of the Safety Requirement Specifications (SRS), we use a range of methods to apply a SIL, including risk graphs, risk matrices and, most frequently, layer of protection analysis (LOPA). SIL targets may be supported by QRA & Consequence Analysis. Safety Instrument Functions (SIFs) are then determined.

We supply chairman, facilitators & scribes and are familiar using bespoke software to record & process assessment work on safety instrumented systems.

SIL assessment, validation and certification services are provided for IEC61508 and IEC61511 standards. We are also familiar with related industrial specifications such as IEC 61513 for Nuclear and BS EN 50126 / 50129 for railway applications.

QRA & Consequence Analysis

Quantify risk that a particular process or operation poses to an individual and population.

Quantitative risk analysis (QRA) is a technique for quantifying the risk that a particular process or operation poses to an individual and population. QRA was developed in the 1970s for the aerospace, electronics, and nuclear power industries, and in the 1980s was refined for use in the chemical and petrochemical industries.

Following hazard identification, quantitative risk assessment with HAZOP, LOPA and complementary methods can be extended with explosion & dispersion modelling. Building upon our extensive experience in engineering simulation, we support a range of consequence analysis tools to predict the extent & severity of hazardous events to aid risk assessment.

We have project experience considering the consequences of potential fire and explosion events using industry standard tools such as the phenomenologically-based Phast, including determination of required SIL target levels. Our fluid dynamics team can also model discharge and gas dispersion effects in detail using CFD methods.

For companies looking to develop their own in-house capabilities, Ansys CFD and our specialised ANSYS Autodyn solver are highly suited to the simulation of fire, explosion, blast and discharge/dispersion scenarios.

Software Assurance

Assessing and supporting software development processes and procedures from safety perspective.

When developing products or systems containing elements of software that controls equipment or analyses data, it is essential from a safety perspective (typically SIL driven) during auditing that there is evidence available of robust and consistent software development processes and procedures. It is also important there is clear evidence that these processes and procedures are being followed diligently and effectively to appropriate standards and specifications.

Whether a brand new project requiring software assurance support from the early concept stage or a proven system in the field subject to auditing, we can help. Our experienced team can guide your software developers through industry standards requirements (IEC 61508 is commonly used) that typically cover two main themes:

  • Software Quality Management System
  • Software Safety Lifecycle Requirements

When reviewing proven products and systems that have been in the field for some time, we often perform a Gap Analysis to help define the scope of work required. This usually takes the form of a discovery event followed by a reporting activity highlighting the required steps to take to achieve compliance.

Example Projects

  • Combined power and steam generation plants

  • Oil production facilities

  • Chemical processing plants

  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) storage facilities

  • Synthetic rubber process plant

  • Pipeline interconnections

  • Hydraulic power units

  • Various oil & gas downstream projects including pre-FEED studies

Implement key functional safety analysis methods for electronics systems

Ansys medini analyze ensures that safety standards are complied with efficiently and consistently, including ISO 26262, IEC 61508, ARP 4761, ISO 21448 and MIL-STD-882E. It supports a wide range of methods (such as HAZOP, HARA, FHA, FTA, FME(C)A and FMEDA) all within one tool.

How Can We Support Your Objectives?

Please contact us or complete the form opposite for an informal, no-obligation discussion of your requirements.

From an initial phone call we can often give you an idea of price and time scales.

With subsequent details, we can then send you some solution ideas, scopes of work and a formal quotation.

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