Our products have been SIL certified
Magnus Jansson, Senior Engineer at SOMAS explains what this certification means and in which SIL-class our products now belong.
“The fact that our products are SIL-certified means that we can offer SOMAS valves for safety functions. Both we and whomever installs these functions will now have an easier time doing so, the highest rating we have so far is SIL 3 which feels really great”.
The purpose of SIL is to decrease the risk of injury/accidents and in turn raise the safety for anyone working in the process industry. The requirements for safety-systems within the industry are a bit different today thanks to the continued technical development within the area, but also because of major accidents having occurred in the past (I.e. Saveso, Bhopal). Functions within processes are almost entirely dependent on electric and electronic systems which raises the level of knowledge needed for handling the safety pf these processes where individual parts can affect the risk of accidents.
In order to find a method that can be used to reduce risks the standards IEC 61508 which pertains to equipment and IEC 61511 which pertains to the process industry as a whole where developed. Within these standards the SIL (Safety Integrity Levels) are used to judge and reduce the risks of accidents related to both specific pieces of equipment and in whole processes. SIL are divided into four different classes for safety. SIL 1 being the lowest class while SIL 4 is the highest – the higher the number, the greater risk reduction.
The first part of the rating process involves to in a well-structured manner identify any and all potential areas where accidents can occur within a process.
The next step involves a risk analysis to evaluate how great each risk of accident is by looking at what the consequences of the accident could be in terms of personal injury, environmental or material damage or even death. The probability of an accident occurring at all are also included in the calculations. The results of the analysis are then used to determine the necessary risk reduction, one SIL-class for each of the identified risks of accidents that are deemed too high. Wherever the risk needs to be reduced an additional separate safety measure is added. This safety measure is required to meet the determined SIL-class. The safety function includes one or several valves.
The valves need to meet the requirements related to functional safety that are set for each SIL-class for the specific safety functions in which the valves are installed, and that is where the certification comes in. Both SOMAS products and SOMAS as a company are affected by this certification.