Last updateSun, 06 Oct 2019 10am

Exida SILAlarm V2.10 - Alarm Flood Suppression

The ISA-18.2 and IEC 62682 alarm management standards provide recommended targets for average alarm rate and for alarm floods - a condition during which the alarm rate is greater than the operator can effectively manage (e.g., more than 10 alarm per 10 mins) Ref ISA-18.2. During alarm floods the chance of an operator missing an alarm or making a mistake is increased. The following table taken from IEC 61511 shows how the reliability of humans is impacted by stress.
Consequently, alarm floods reduce the effectiveness of alarms used as safeguards or independent protection layers and increase the chances of process safety incidents.

Alarm rationalization is typically effective at reducing average alarm rate. To alleviate alarm floods, advanced alarming techniques such as alarm flood suppression may be required. Exida SILAlarm™ provides the ability to define and document alarm flood suppression requirements so that they can be implemented in the control system. For DeltaV users, alarm flood suppression can be configured automatically in DeltaV via bulk edit from SILAlarm using new modules created by Emerson and exida.

SILAlarm provides the ability to define alarm flood suppression requirements systematically via a standard interface.

  • Trigger conditions (required and / or voted) and associated logical expressions (for implementation in the control system)
  • Maximum Suppression Time
  • Unsuppression Behavior (Unsuppress all, Unsuppress none, Unsuppress Inactive alarms only)
  • Common Alarm for annunciation to the operator (when other alarms are suppressed)
  • Alarms to be suppressed*
  • Suppressed priority (to change the alarm priority dynamically during a flood)
  • Audit & Enforce changes detected in the control system configuration
  • Management of Change
  • Description text: Group, Required, Voted conditions for display on HMI faceplates and graphic screens.
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Siemens opens Cyber Security Operation Centers for the protection of industrial facilities

Siemens has opened its "Cyber Security Operation Center" (CSOC) for the protection of industrial facilities, with a joint location in Lisbon and Munich and one in Milford (Ohio) in the USA. Siemens industrial security specialists based at these sites monitor industrial facilities all around the world for cyber threats, warn companies in the event of security incidents and coordinate proactive countermeasures. These protective measures are part of Siemens' extensive Plant Security Services with which the enterprise supports companies in the manufacturing and processing industry in encountering constantly changing security threats and increasing plant availability.

The increased networking of industrial infrastructures ("Internet of Things", "Industrie 4.0") calls for appropriate protective action for the automation environment. This is where the Siemens Plant Security Services enter the picture: these services range from Security Assessments and the installation of protective measures, such as firewalls and virus protection (Security Implementation), through to the continuous surveillance of plants with the Managed Security Services, which is now offered by the CSOCs themselves. If the Siemens experts detect an increased risk, they give the customer an early warning, issue recommendations for proactive countermeasures and coordinate their implementation. The countermeasures are based on the criticality of the incident and the likely impact on the customer's business. They include modifying firewall rules or providing updates for closing gaps in security. In addition, Siemens provides forensic analyses of security incidents. Companies are then in a position to prepare reports that comply with international standards such as ISO 27002 or IEC 62443. And that is not all – companies also receive a transparent view of their plants' security status. Siemens' Plant Security Services use products from the company's collaboration partner, Intel Security. These include: McAfee VirusScan, McAfee Application Control, McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) as well as McAfee Enterprise Security Manager with Security Information and Event Management.


Honeywell collaboration to Protect Industrial Control Systems from Cyber Attacks

Honeywell and Palo Alto Networks® are collaborating to boost the cyber security capabilities of control systems used by industrial facilities and critical infrastructure. Honeywell's Industrial Cyber Security business is now offering the Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Security Platform to industrial customers. The collaboration enables customers to better prevent cyber attacks against their Process Control Networks (PCN) and Operational Technology (OT) environments in order to protect their assets and maximize production uptime and safety.

The joint solution offers unrivaled process network traffic monitoring and advanced threat prevention across the automation environment. It combines Palo Alto Networks' advanced and natively integrated security platform with Honeywell's unique process control domain expertise to provide a cyber security solution tailored for industrial customers. This next-generation offering enhances Honeywell's comprehensive portfolio of cyber security solutions, including its Industrial Cyber Security Risk Manager platform.

Jeff Zindel, vice president and general manager, cyber security, Honeywell Process Solutions said, "The collaboration with Palo Alto Networks expands our ability to provide proactive intrusion prevention resulting in more robust protection for our customers. It is an example of Honeywell's unique multi-vendor approach that integrates state-of-the-art technology with proven expertise so that customers can confidently rely on our cyber security capabilities, quickly and effectively prevent threats, and focus on their daily operations."

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Exida announces a complimentary training class on their exSILentia® Safety Lifecycle tool

exida invites you to attend a complimentary training on the exSILentia® Safety Lifecycle tool. Attendees will learn how to perform Safety Integrity Level (SIL) Selection and Verification using the advanced capabilities of exSILentia® . This will help users determine the required risk reduction for each hazard scenario and the achieved risk reduction for each identified Safety Instrumented Function (SIF). The class will also cover interfacing with Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) results, documentation of the Safety Requirements Specification (SRS), and operational aspects such as proof testing.
Skills You Will Learn:

  • How to perform Safety Integrity Level (SIL) Selection and Verification using the advanced capabilities of exSILentia
  • Determine the required risk reduction for each hazard scenario and the achieved risk reduction for each identified Safety Instrumented Function (SIF)
  • Understand interfacing with Process Hazard Analysis results
  • Understand the documentation of the Safety Requirements Specification (SRS)
  • Understand operational aspects such as proof testing
  • Understand the impact of SIL verification parameters on the detailed design, implementation, and operation of the SIF

The final 2-hours of the course will discuss the new exSILentia® v4, including integration with the exida Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA) tool, LOPAx™, the Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) tool, PHAx™, CHAZOP, and hands-on demonstrations.

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Exida releases new White Paper: Explaining the differences in Mechanical Failure Rates

This white paper describes the distinction between failure rate prediction and estimation methods in general and then gives an overview of the procedures used to obtain dangerous failure rates for certain mechanical equipment using exida FMEDA predictions and OREDA estimations. exida frequently compares field failure rate data from various sources to FMEDA results in order to validate the FMEDA component library. However, because OREDA and FMEDA methods are quite different, it is not possible to compare their results directly. A methodology is presented which creates predictions and estimations that are more comparable. The methodology is then applied to specific equipment combinations and the results are compared. When differences in the results exist between the two methods, plausible explanations for the differences are provided.

The comparisons show that the OREDA failure rates are well within the range of the exida FMEDA results. The comparisons also show that, with two exceptions, the average FMEDA predictions for dangerous failure rates are only slightly less than those of the OREDA estimations. In those two exceptions, FMEDA predictions are higher than OREDA. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that, when compared in an “apples-to-apples” fashion, for the equipment analyzed in this paper, the exida FMEDA predictions and OREDA estimations are quite comparable.

Download White Paper

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