Fieldbus Foundation includes end users in SIF demo

The Fieldbus Foundation (FF) reports that its Foundation for Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) demonstration project was expanded to include multiple end-user locations worldwide. Plans now call for SIF field demonstrations at Shell Global Solutions in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Saudi Aramco in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, BP in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, and Chevron in Richmond, Calif.

No changes were required to the existing Foundation fieldbus protocol to add the SIF protocol extensions. With its distributed function blocks and open communications protocol, it’s an ideal infrastructure for advancing standards-based SIFs, according to FF’s literature. The foundation reports that it’s developed specifications for safety instrumented functions in cooperation with the world’s leading automation end users, controls manufacturers, and safety experts.

These field demonstrations will promote adoption of the FF’s SIF technology in the process industries. The project also includes development of SIF best practices and guidelines, training, and interoperability test tools for manufactures and end users. “The foundation undertook this project at the urging of its end users, who are realizing significant operating benefits in their non-safety systems through their use of this technology,” says Dave Glanzer, FF’s technology development director. “By extending Foundation fieldbus technology into SIFs, they see the opportunity for the additional economic benefits of its native predictive diagnostics.”

FF’s SIF protocol meets the requirements of the IEC 61508 standard for functional safety of electrical, electronic and programmable electronic safety-related systems, up to and including Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 3. In addition, end users can build systems per the IEC 61511 standard covering SIF functional safety in the process industries (IEC 61511 is available as the ANSI/ISA-84.00.01-2004 standard).

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