This week on the Process Automation Usability Project #PAuto #PAutoUP

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September 23, 2009

Focus on Safety System Usability
A number of discussions having to do with Safety Instrumented System (SIS) design, implementation and maintenance have sprung up in the Usability Project forums. Click on the links below to participate, or join the dozens of conversations on a broad variety of usability topics on the Usability Project.
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Implementation Forum
Do You Have Confidence in Packaged Safety Logic?
Pre–engineered safety function blocks can save engineering and testing time, but deviate from the traditional code-intensive approach, notes a forum contributor. "If the supplier is IEC 61508-certified, do you have confidence that the advanced safety function blocks work as intended?"
Voice your opinion.
Design Forum
What Are Obstacles to Distributing Safety I/O?
If an end user can save a substantial capital investment by distributing SIS I/O in the field, why aren’t more projects embracing the advancements provided by integrated control and safety system (ICSS) technology? What are the drawbacks and considerations to using this approach?
What’s your take on this issue?
Maintenance Forum
Automatic Proof Tests: Do Users Take Advantage of System Capabilities?
Today’s modern safety systems feature the ability to automate proof tests. One forum contributor asks to what extent these functions are actually used –– and what sort of documentation is relied on: electronic systems or paper?
Share your perspective.
Participate in Our Usability Poll
How Do You Protect Control Networks from Cyber Disruption?

The options are as follows:
1) Multi-tiered approach including firewalls, DMZ and edge-protection devices.
2) We leave control network security to our IT department.
3) We rely on physical isolation of control networks.
4) We haven't had any cyber incidents to date, so system protection has not been a priority.
» Visit the Process Automation Usability Project.
Got an Idea? Win a New Apple iPod Touch!
Submit an idea for how to improve the usability of process automation technology using Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, or in one of our Usability Forums. Best suggestion of the week wins an Apple iPod Touch!
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