ABB now claims to have more safety centers with TÜV certification for Functional Safety Management System (FSMS) delivery and implementation than any other supplier in the industry. Most recent additions to the list are the ABB Safety Execution Centers (SECs) in Beijing and Shanghai in China, Bangalore in India and Buenos Aires in Argentina, which join the SECs in Denmark, Germany, Italy, Singapore and the United Kingdom in being certified by TÜVRheinland as having in place and applying an FSMS for delivery and implementation of safety system projects in accordance with international industry standards. TÜV certification addresses all relevant sections of IEC 61508 and IEC 61511 for integration and implementation of Safety Instrumented Systems (SISs), including system design, configuration, application programming, testing and SIL achievement for specific industrial safety applications.
ABB's global network of SECs has grown from eight to 20 over the past four years, providing customers in each region with local resources for SIS design, engineering and project execution, as well as with access to resident safety standards and technology experts. The total global team includes more than 500 TÜV-certified and ABB technology-certified safety engineers, although whether that figure counts engineers who are both TÜV- and ABB technology-certified or simply those who are either is not clear.
SIL 3 Boost
Further emphasizing its current strength in a sector that ARC predicts will continue to see steady growth over the next few years, ABB claims that the number of deliveries of its System 800xA High Integrity (HI) integrated SIS increased by 55% during 2009, no doubt reflecting the impact of the release of the SIL 3 version in January 2009, although, somewhat confusingly, ABB now says it was released in November 2008.
"ABB is committed to providing our customers with the resources, technology and tools they need to help them operate their plants more safely, as well as protect their employees, the environment and the surrounding community," said Safety Execution Center program global manager Stuart Nunns. 'The need for reliable engineering resources and quality safety automation solutions has exponentially grown over the past few years; the depth and scope of our regulatory, technical and project execution knowledge provides our customers with the trusted expertise they need to successfully protect the integrity of their process, plant and people."
ABB has acquired North American machine safety specialist Jokab Safety, which becomes part of BU Control Products within ABB's Low Voltage Products division. Jokab is focused exclusively on machine safety and has a product portfolio that is reckoned to complement ABB's existing line-up, closing a gap in its offering. ABB says it sees machine safety as a growing market which, as in the process safety arena, is increasingly merging with standard control products and solutions, providing major opportunities for vendors who can meet the OEM market's requirement for a single source of both safety and control products. Jokab currently operates from facilities in Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario. Its senior management are to stay on to continue running the business following completion of the acquisition.