It’s a fact: Poor process safety performance is very bad for business. Plant owners/operators need to close the loop on the safety lifecycle—from Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) studies through operations and maintenance, and back to revalidation with the plant’s actual historian and maintenance data—in order to minimize risk and unlock savings in process design, analysis and operations. Because – as it turns out – a poorly-running business is very bad for process safety.
Process safety is about managing the integrity of plant operating systems by identifying hazards, estimating their risk, and applying engineering safeguards and disciplined operating practices like maintaining those safeguards. It deals with the prevention and mitigation of incidents that have the potential for severe, even catastrophic damage.
Recent events have propelled industrial organizations to work towards an evergreen functional safety management plan. The goal is to ensure their operations run for the next 30+ years with suitably reliable Independent Protection Layers (IPLs) to safeguard assets from potential hazards.
Challenges for Plant Operators
Throughout the industrial sector, there is growing need to reduce man-hours, drive consistency and ensure process compliance. Operating companies must find effective ways to monitor performance, identify bad actors and sustain minimal risk.
Functional safety is expensive in today’s demanding industrial environment. Certified functional safety experts are rare, and the design and documentation of Safety Instrumented Functions (SIFs) is often on the critical path as a project moves from process to detail design.
In light of recent accidents, industrial organizations are devoting a more significant share of their budget to implementing process safety measures. In most cases, however, the traditional approach to safety is inefficient, and the documents produced are just that—documents—without any connection to each other or to the real-world operation post-design.
Need to Understand Performance
Historically, the way that process safety has been approached requires many resources with varying types of expertise (internal and external) and different manual functions for gathering relevant data and conducting safety-related studies such as:
- Process Hazard Analysis (PHA)
- Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA)
- Safety Requirement Specification (SRS)
- Safety Integrity Level (SIL)
Disparate reports and tools are commonly employed to support the safety lifecycle. This has been, and continues to be, an expensive, inefficient and costly process. Because people are retyping tag numbers, there’s a good chance they will make an error. Such errors are virtually eliminated when you are selecting from a pull-down list. When was the last time you got a wrong number when dialing your phone?
A growing number of plant owners/operators are looking for a way to compare their facility’s actual performance against its intended design. They need solutions making it possible to monitor performance across their operations, identify bad actors wherever they exist, and sustain minimal risk throughout the life of the plant.
Employing an Automated Approach
Improving process safety compliance and performance isn’t easy in today’s complex industrial facilities. Digitization is needed to leverage data in disconnected documents, optimize safety-instrumented systems and manage corporate risk.
As a leading global industrial technology supplier, Honeywell provides process safety solutions that automate the safety lifecycle in order to reduce errors, lower costs, continuously monitor operations for hazard conditions and provide safety alerts in a timely fashion. The company’s innovative, end-to-end offering enables a real-time view of safety system performance compared with original design assumptions, and uses data from historians and maintenance to validate designs or identify issues. This allows end-users and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors to reduce safety risk and realize significant cost savings.
The Honeywell solution has two major components, though more pieces will join the ecosystem in the future:
- Process Safety Workbench
- Process Safety Analyzer
Honeywell’s focus is on digitizing the process safety lifecycle, providing a sustainable “digital twin” for safety, and then closing the loop – driving higher performance through efficient operation. Key to this approach is automating the safety lifecycle to minimize errors, improve consistencies and reduce engineering effort up to 45 percent. Honeywell’s integrated solutions work in tandem to eliminate manual steps and enable a more collaborative safety design—reducing costs and expediting project execution.
“Honeywell’s focus is on digitizing the process safety lifecycle, providing a sustainable “digital twin” for safety, and then closing the loop”
Advantages for Plant Owners
No matter where they are in the process safety lifecycle, industrial facilities can utilize new safety methodologies to reduce risk and save money, while complying with best engineering practices throughout their operating life. The latest process safety tools use a plant’s test and operating history to achieve performance goals and optimize technology investments.
The advantages of leveraging a digitized, automated process safety lifecycle during capital project execution include:
- Virtually eliminating transcription errors from step to step
- Increased copy factor between equipment and SIFs
- Reduced costs for functional safety engineering
- Enhanced ability to validate design assumptions
- Improved risk-based business decisions
Experience has shown that industrial organizations can do more with data via a connected, digitized approach to process safety management. This includes turning process historian data into valuable safety insights. Employing a single data system for all process safety risk management information and analysis, they gain the means to improve monitoring of operational hazards and streamline work to enhance functional safety.
Thanks to innovations in the field of process safety, industrial organizations can take advantage of integrated enterprise systems and effective performance metrics that truly reflect the state of risk controls and allow plant managers to target resources towards the areas of greatest concern.
Leading suppliers like Honeywell couple best-in-class solutions with global expertise to ensure a safe and reliable path to digitization. Honeywell’s strategy, proven at industrial sites worldwide, connects design assumptions with actual performance, and helps facility operators to be confident their protection layers will work when needed most. The addition of more advanced and continuously running process safety lifecycle management tools makes process safety monitoring and analysis practical to do all the time.
To find out more visit us at: https://hwll.co/ProcessSafetySuite