The Safety War

"Honeywell's position is strictly in the middle," Zornio quipped. He was discussing the product released last December, Safety Manager R100, which, he claimed was the world's first IEC 61511 certified SIL3 Safety Instrumented System (SIS). The war, if there is one, is over whether SIS systems should be now and forever standalone, or whether they can be integrated into the DCS as functions, or if they should be integrated as parallel-but-different equipment and software in the same panel design. The engineering design emphasis of 61511 permits a wide variation in safety system design, and users now have considerable choice. The purists are screaming, the vendors are FUDing, and the poor end users are sitting there, wondering how to avoid what happened to BP Amoco in Texas City in March...by any measure a career limiting move for the automation professionals involved. Zornio described Safety Manager as "integrated into Experion, but using different hardware and software to operate the safety system."