With the final Safety Execution Centres (SECs) in its global network set to be TÜV-certified within the next 18 months, ABB is confirming its position as the number one supplier promoting functional safety in the oil and gas industry. To date, some eleven SECs out of ABB’s 20-strong global network are already certified.
Working closely with colleagues within ABB’s Product and Consulting businesses, the SECs play a key role in helping ABB deliver total safety-assurance for customers operating high-risk process installations. The Centres design and engineer Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) to support effective functional safety throughout the entire lifecycle of process and functional safety solutions.
ABB’s global Functional Safety Management Programme is designed to meet the growing demand for safety assurance in the oil and gas industry, where several high-profile incidents have led to a recent shift in attitude, according to John Walkington, manager of ABB’ s Safety Lead Competency Centre in St Neots: “Companies are focusing their attention towards adoption and compliance to safety related industry good practice standards and are recognising that increased project spend to achieve the correct level of functional safety to these standards is a fundamental management requirement to provide for sustainable operations. ABB’s experience and tried and tested systems and procedures help ensure that companies achieve complete functional safety with a high level of pragmatism without paying more than they need to”
Many operators and contractors within the oil and gas industry do not have access to specialist functional safety resources in-house. ABB’s support can ensure that safety is designed into projects properly from the start, avoiding not only the potentially catastrophic consequences of underspecifying safety systems, but also the added costs of overspending on unnecessary equipment.
All the Centres work to deliver SIS that comply with the latest industry standards (IEC 61511 and IEC 61508, edition 2). The SECs in India, Argentina, Denmark, Germany, two in Italy, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil and two in China are already certified by TUV as the independent accreditation body in line with the standards, while Canada, Colombia, US, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Ukraine and Slovakia are currently in the process of achieving certification.
The SECs design, engineer, integrate and configure SIS using ABB third-party certified elements and subsystems from the various Product Groups, to IEC 61511/IEC 61508. They offer the full range of systems, up to and including SIL 3 for the most hazardous duties.
They also provide consultancy on functional and process safety, working with the Consulting Group, Control Technologies and Consult IT businesses within ABB. Competency is a key issue within functional safety, and the SECs complete their all-round support for clients by working with the ABB University to provide training.
ABB’ s safety specialists have the experience, knowledge, training and qualifications to deliver market-beating functional safety solutions. Key engineering personnel at all 20 SECs have achieved either TÜV Rheinland Functional Safety Engineer or Exida Certified Safety Engineer and ABB has access to a number of “Expert” status consultants under the same competency schemes.
As leaders in functional safety, ABB can provide support throughout the entire safety lifecycle, including the ‘own and operate’ and ‘design and build’ phases. By successfully addressing all the key areas of process safety, functional safety, product safety and competency assurance, ABB can support clients as they draw together the management, assumptions, deliverables and documentation to build, operate and sustain a coherent basis of safety.