"Functional safety in process instrumentation with SIL rating"

"Functional safety in process instrumentation with SIL rating"
Functional Safety
Functional safety in
process instrumentation
with SIL rating
Questions, examples, background
04 - 05
Hazards and risks
Functional safety
06– 07
Interpretation 13 – 15
Types of faults
Calculation examples
Testing and Certification
16 – 18
For whom is IEC 61508 relevant?
Is the highest possible SIL advantageous?
Safety-related System (SRS)
What are the advantageous for a company?
How secure is bus communiation?
How is the assessment carried out?
Safety Integrity Level
08 – 12
Determination of required SIL
New plants – old plants
Low and high demand modes
Device ratings by manufacturers
Comparison between SIL and AK
What certificates are required?
Who does the SIL classification apply to?
Possible configurations
What devices can be used with which SIL?
Two SIL 2 devices in redundant mode - is this SIL 3?
Since the release of IEC 61508, the topic of “Functional
safety” in the process industry has come to the fore.
Often, the expression SIL is used to reference this standard. But what exactly does SIL mean?
In this brochure, we will provide you with an introduction to the topic with emphasis on instrumentation for
process engineering. We want to provide fundamental
understanding without using the language of the standard. As a result, some descriptions may appear to experts to be too inaccurate or superficial.
This brochure can only be an introduction to the
topic. If you require detailed information, you are
advised to refer to the corresponding literature
and the relevant standards. The calculation examples shown here can therefore only be considered
as the basic procedure, and cannot be applied to
“real” calculations.
The information in this brochure has been produced to the best of our knowledge. However, errors may nevertheless have slipped in. Any resulting responsibility will therefore not be accepted.
Hazards and risks
In everyday life we are constantly exposed to many different hazards. The extent of these hazards extends up to
major catastrophes which can have severe detrimental effects on health and the environment. We are not always
able to avoid a hazard with its associated risks. For example, a high proportion of the world population lives with
the hazards of earthquakes or flooding. There are no protective measures against the events themselves; however,
protective measures do exist for the consequences of such
events (e.g. dams or dikes, or buildings resistant to earthquakes).
Definition of a risk
Risk =
Probability of the occurrence of a hazardous event x
consequences (costs) of a hazardous event.
The accepted residual risk depends on the following
• Region/country
• Society of the respective region/country
• Laws
• Costs
This accepted residual risk must be assessed individually.
What is acceptable for one person may be unacceptable
for someone else.
Reduction of risks
Every day hazards are assessed according to their risk
level, and accepted or not. If someone plans a long journey, selection of the means of transport can influence the
risk of an accident. The traveler can reduce the hazard to a
residual risk which is acceptable for him. But there is
always a residual risk.
Appropriate emergency exits and escape routes can be
provided when planning the building. Smoke detectors
can trigger an alarm which signals the hazard to persons
inside and outside the building. The installation of fire
doors and the use of fireproof materials prevents further
spreading of a fire.
Automatic sprinkler systems control the flames, and fire
extinguishers are also available for fighting the fire. This
example shows that there are many possibilities for reducing a risk. The protective measures are matched to the
respective requirements, for the risks in a warehouse are
different from those in home.
Protective measures in industry
The many machinery and plants in industrial use all have
potential hazards. In order to protect personnel and the
environment from hazard, as well as the machines and
plants from damage, risks are determined and subsequently reduced by applying appropriate protective
Protective measures
We can protect ourselves by reducing the probability of
the occurrence of a hazard or by limiting its effect.
Our world is being increasingly dominated by electrical
and electronic systems. These systems have increased the
number of potential hazards we have, but these systems
can also be used to prevent or mitigate the consequences
of these hazards.
A simple example
Various protective measures can reduce the risk of damage to a building from fire.
Representation of risk reduction
The layer of protection model
on the right shows what
types of protective measures
typically exist.
The measures required to reduce a risk can sometimes be
very simple, but also extremely complex.
• Structural measures (e.g. build concrete walls around
production plants)
• Distribution of hazards
• Evacuation plans
• Safety-relevant control and protection equipment
• and many more
As shown by the example, measures that decrease the risk
are partially attributed to completely different approaches.
These approaches are also called layers of protection.
These different layers of protection are structured hierarchically and are to be viewed independently of each other.
If one layer fails, the next higher layer steps in to limit or
avoid damage.
The layer of protection model on the big picture above
shows what types of protective measures typically exist.
Representation of risk reduction
The measures which are finally applied frequently depend
on how high the residual risk may be while still being
acceptable - and what costs are necessary to achieve this.
Safety-relevant control and protection equipment can
make a significant contribution to reducing risks in
machinery and plants.
The layers of protection must be independent in their function. Thus, devices for open-loop and closed-loop control
technology from the lowest level should generally not be
used simultaneously for safety applications of a higher
Overall risk reduction results from the measures of the
individual layers of protection and must result in an
acceptable residual risk.
Functional safety
What does functional
safety mean?
Automation engineering systems are increasingly handling
safety-relevant tasks. For example, processes representing
a hazard to people and the environment are monitored by
safety systems. These take appropriate action in the event
of a fault, and can reduce the risk of a hazardous state.
Functional safety is the correct functioning of such
Since many countries had different standards for the correct functioning of safety-relevant equipment, a globally
applicable IEC basic standard for functional safety was
adopted in 1998. A series of standards was derived from
this, in which the organizational and technical demands
placed on safety-related systems and their implementation
were defined.
Up to now, national standards have existed for the planning, construction and operation of safety-related systems
(SRS) . On the German market, for example, the manufacturers and owners of such plants could refer to the safety
standards DIN/VDE 19250, DIN/VDE 19251 and DIN/VDE
A uniform standard for plants in the process industry was
adopted in 2003. The following two standards are of significance to process instrumentation:
• EC 61508 (basic standard):
Globally applicable as the basis for specifications, design
and operation of safety-related systems (SRS).
• EC 61511 (application-specific standard for the process
Implementation of IEC 61508 for the process industry
International standards
defining functional safety.
Functional safety
System (SRS)
For whom is IEC 61508 relevant?
Based on a hazard and risk analysis, the hazards can be
determined which result from a plant and its associated
control systems. This determines whether a safety-related
system is necessary to guarantee appropriate protection
against possible hazards. If this is the case, the associated
concepts must be appropriately incorporated in the development of this plant.
IEC 61508 defines appropriate methods for achieving
functional safety for associated systems.
What systems are affected by IEC 61508?
IEC 61508 must be applied to safety-relevant systems if
these contain one or more of the following devices:
• Electrical equipment (E)
• Electronic equipment (E)
Representation of an SRS
Several sensors, actuators, or control components can be
used within a safety-related system.
It may also be the case that safety-relevant and non-safetyrelevant components are connected together within a
plant. However, only the safety-relevant components are
considered for the SRS.
• Programmable electronic equipment (PE)
The standard covers potential risks caused by the failure of
safety functions. Not covered are hazards resulting from
the E/E/PE devices themselves, e.g. electric shock. The
standard is generally applicable to safety-relevant E/E/PE
systems, independent of their respective application.
Safety-related System (SRS)
A safety-related system (SRS) is used to secure a hazardous
process and to reduce the risk of an accident.
Process instruments are components of a SRS. This comprises the significant components of a complete safety-relevant process unit:
Signals to be processed in a plant
• Sensor
• Logic Solver
• Actuator
All units together constitute an SRS. In order to be able to
evaluate the functional safety of an SRS, it is therefore
necessary to consider the complete processing system
(from sensor up to actuator).
Safety Integrity Level
Determination of
required SIL
Different risks originate from plants or plant components.
As the risk increases, the demands made on the safety-related system (SRS) also increase. The standards IEC 61508
and IEC 61511 therefore define four different safety levels
which describe the measures for handling the risks of
these components. These four safety levels are the safety
integrity level (SIL) defined by the standards.
The higher the number of the safety integrity level (SIL),
the higher the reduction of the risk. The SIL is therefore a
relative measure of the probability that the safety system
can correctly provide the required safety functions for a
specific period.
There are different approaches for determining the required SIL of a plant or plant component. The standards
IEC 61508 and IEC 61511 (application of IEC 61508 for the
process industry) include various methods for defining the
SIL. Since the topic is extremely complex, only what is
needed to obtain a basic understanding is presented here.
A quantitative method
The risk of a hazardous process is determined by the probability with which a hazardous event could occur (without existing protective measures), multiplied by the effect
of the hazardous event. It is necessary to determine how
high the probability is which can lead to a hazardous state.
This probability can be estimated by applying quantitative
risk assessment methods, and defined by a numeric limit.
The probability can be determined by:
• Analysis of failure rates in comparable situations
• Data from relevant databases
• Calculation with application of appropriate prediction
The exact methods of calculation cannot be treated further
here. If required, details can be found in IEC 61508 Part 5.
A qualitative method
The qualitative method is a simplified model which readily
shows which SIL is required for which hazards.
Determination of SIL according to the “qualitative method”:
Extent of damage
Light injury of a person,
small environmental damage
Severe injury or death of a
Death of several persons
Death of very many persons
Duration of stay of a person in the
damaged area
Seldom to frequent
Frequent to permanent
Aversion of danger
Possible under certain
Hardly possible
Probability of occurence
Verly low
Relatively high
Safety Integrity Level
Diagram of the separation column
A small example...
A new production facility needs to be built in a chemical
The process used to produce the chemical product is the
main factor determining the configuration of the facility.
Since the operation of this type of facility can generally
pose a risk to people and the environment, potentials risks
and effects must be examined and adequate protective
measures must be included in the project if necessary. For
example, a separation column is considered as part of the
A HAZOP analysis (Hazard and Operability Study) is created
to assess the safety risks that can be mitigated by the operation of a separation column. The examination is compiled by various experts such as process technicians, production engineers, occupational health and safety experts,
technicians, operating personnel, plant management, etc.
in order to consider many different aspects of the safety
risk of the facility.The various points of view are used to
create a risk analysis (fault examination), which is in turn
used to determine the protection or countermeasures that
are needed.
Safety Integrity Level
The risk analysis results in a fault examination, part of which is shown here:
Wrong or contaminated input
products into the column
Change in the mixture composition of the inflow from
upstream parts of the plant
Temperature/pressure increase
in the column
• Changes in the inflow composition do not take place
suddenly but are instead
gradual and are noted by
the continuous quality
Power failure
Local or plant-side electrical
Breakdown of cooling and
heating as well as the pumps
and/or pressure and temperature increase
• All controls and instruments
enter the safety mode.
Overfilling in the column sump
Failure of the fill level control
LIC 004
Flooding of the lower column
floors with the risk of destroying the floors
• Overfill safety LSA+ 005
closes heating steam and
inflow valve
Overfilling of the condensate
Failure of the fill level control
LIC 007
Flooding of the capacitor and
loss of cooling power, temperature increase in the column
• See Temperature in the
column too high
Temperature in the column too
Loss of cooling water on the
head capacitor
Pressure increase and penetration of the lower boiler steam
into the discharged air,
Instance A)
• Pressure monitoring PI ZA+
010 closes heating steam
and inflow valves
With safety valve: Activation of
the safety valve and substance
release into the environment
Instance B)
Without safety valve: Exceeding of the maximum permissible pressure in the column
with loss of integrity
Temperature in sump too high
Control errors in the heating
steam supply line
The measuring points “pressure monitoring at the column
head” (010) and “temperature monitoring at the column
floor” (006) were identified as being safety-relevant. The
existence of a safety valve for pressure monitoring was
emphasized in particular.
In connection with the diagram for determining the
required safety integrity level on page 8, the corresponding classifications result for pressure and temperature
monitoring in the separation column.
• The column automatically
enters the safety mode
(when heating is switched
off and the infeed is closed).
Overheating of the sump
product above the maximum
permissible temperature, corrosion reaction with gas production, pressure increase
above the max mum permissible storage pressure
• Many temperature measurement points for the quick
response of operating personnel in the case of an
abnormal temperature
• Temperature monitoring TIC
ZA+ 006 closes heating
Pressure monitoring
with safety
safety valve
Extent of
Lenght of stay in
the hazard zone
Potential for
aversion of
Probability of
event occurencee
Safety Integritiy
Safety Integrity Level
Low and high
demand modes
between SIL and AK
Since applications in the process and production industries
vary greatly, different demands are also placed on the
safety-related system (SRS). For this reason, each of these
industrial sectors has a different system in which the
demand rate on the SRS is defined. A differentiation is
made between the systems using the probability of SRS
failure on demand (PFD).
DIN 19250/19251 and DIN 0801 were German industry
standards and were used as the basis for the evaluation of
safe products before the international standard IEC 61508
was introduced.
Low demand
Mode with low demand rate on the safety system. There
must not be a demand on the safety system more frequently than once per year.
Max. accepted failure of SRS
One hazardous failure in 10 years
10 ≤ PFD < 10
10 ≤ PFD < 10
One hazardous failure in 100 years
10-4 ≤ PFD < 10-3
One hazardous failure in 1,000 years
10 ≤ PFD < 10
One hazardous failure in 10,000 years
Failure limits for a safety function used in low demand mode
High demand
Mode with high demand rate or continuous demand on
the safety system. The safety system works continuously
or has a demand more frequently than once per year.
PFH (per hour)
Max. accepted failure of SRS
10-6 ≤ PFH < 10-5
One hazardous failure in 100,000 hours
One hazardous failure in 1,000,000 hours
10 ≤ PFH < 10
10 ≤ PFH < 10
One hazardous failure in 10,000,000 hours
10-9 ≤ PFH < 10-8
One hazardous failure in 100,000,000 hours
Failure limits for a safety function used in high demand mode
High demand mode (continuous mode) is mainly used in
production engineering. Continuous monitoring of working processes is frequently required here to guarantee the
safety of humans and the environment.
Low demand mode (on demand) is typically found in the
process industry. A typical example is an emergency shutdown system which only becomes active when the process
becomes out of control. This normally occurs less than
once a year. For this reason, high demand mode is usually
of no significance for process instrumentation in most
The considerations in this brochure therefore apply
exclusively to low demand systems.
DIN 19250 defined requirement categories (AK) instead of
the safety integrity levels (SIL1 - 4) of the new international standard IEC61508.
The basic principle for application of the requirement categories (AK) is based on the fact that, through the exclusive use of devices of a particular requirement category,
the total system also fulfills this requirement category. In
addition, only the computer components of an safetyrelated system (SRS) have been considered.
Two considerations are made for the application with SIL:
1. Examination of the systemic faults
As with application of AK, it also applies here that the SILcapability of all important components also results in fulfillment of the SIL rating for the complete system.
2. Examination of the random failures
The entire SRS is calculated here. It may occur here, for
example, that the demands are not fulfilled despite all
devices being rated at a given SIL capability.
The SRS is examined in its entirety. The failure probability,
and thus the SIL, must be calculated. To this end, the individual failure probabilities of all components of the SRS are
included in the calculation. It may therefore occur that,
despite exclusive use of SIL 2 components, the SIL 2 is not
achieved in a SRS! The systematic failures of the entire SRS
must also be taken into consideration.
Only the computer components in a SRS are considered.
For example, in order to design a plant in compliance with
AK4, all corresponding components must at least also correspond to AK4.
The following table shows a comparison between the
requirement categories AK and the safety integrity levels.
DIN 19250
Requirement category
AK 1
IEC 61508
Safety integrity level
not defined
AK 2 / AK 3
AK 4
AK 5 / AK 6
AK 7 / AK 8
Comparison between AK (DIN 1925) and SIL (IEC 61508)
(may not completely agree in a few cases.)
Safety Integrity Level
Who does the SIL classification apply to?
In the case of plants that must meet safety technology
requirements, the participants are affected for different
What devices can be used with which SIL?
In order to achieve a level (SIL 1 - 4), the complete SRS
must fulfill the demands for the systematic failures (particularly the software) and the random failures (hardware).
The calculated results of the complete SRS must then cor• Plant operators
respond to the target SIL.
Place the demands on the suppliers of safety technology
components. These must provide proof of the remaining In practice, this primarily depends on the design of the
risk potential.
plant or measuring circuit. In an SIL 3 plant, for example,
devices with a lower SIL can also be used within certain
• Plant constructors
Must appropriately design the plant.
For safety reasons, it is more advantageous if at least two
• Suppliers
redundant devices are used. A small positive side-effect is
Confirm the classification of their products.
that the cost of two SIL 2 devices is usually lower than that
• Insurance companies, authorities
of one SIL 3 device.
Request proof of a sufficient reduction in the residual
SIL 4 cannot be implemented using conventional devices.
risk of the plant
If two SIL 2 devices are used in redundant mode, is this automatically SIL 3?
No. It is always the case that the calculated failure probability of the complete SRS must result in SIL 3. Redundant operation of SIL 2 devices permits a reduction in the probability for random failures. Whether this is sufficient for SIL 3 must be
determined by considering systematic and random failures. In terms of systematic failures (e. g. software), the entire
system must also meet the requirements for SIL 3.
This procedure applies analogously to other safety integrity levels.
Types of faults
A differentiation is made in a safety-related system (SRS)
between systematic faults and random faults. Both types
of faults must be considered individually in order to
fulfill a demanded SIL.
Random faults
Random faults do not exist at the time of delivery. They
result from failure of individual components of the hardware, and occur at random during operation. Examples of
random faults include: Short-circuit, open-circuit, drift in
component values, etc. The fault probability and the associated failure probability can be calculated. The individual
hardware components of an SRS are calculated. The results
are expressed by the PFD value (average probability of failure on demand), and are the calculation basis for determining the SIL value.
Systematic faults
Systematic faults already exist at the time of delivery of
every device. These are typically development faults or
faults in the design or configuration. Examples include
software faults, incorrect dimensioning, incorrect rating of
measuring device, etc. Faults in the device software make
the largest contribution to the systematic faults. The fundamental consideration with systematic software faults is
that faults in the programming can also result in faults in
the process.
This rating is not part of quantitative calculations, but only
provide information on the SIL rating of the device with
respect to systematic faults.
In order to fulfill the systematic fault requirements for a
certain SIL (e.g. SIL 3), the complete SRS must be appropriately designed. The simplest consideration in this case is
that all components possess a SIL 3 rating for systematic
Complete redundancy with systematic faults
It is also possible to use SIL 2 components if measures
have been taken which do not allow a systematic fault at
the SIL 2 level. For example, if SIL 2 pressure measuring
devices are to be used in an SIL-3-SRS, it must be ensured
that different device software is used. This is achieved e.g.
by using two different devices, best of all from diverse
manufacturers (complete redundancy, also see the figure
on page 18). Complete redundancy can also apply if different technologies are used instead of different devices (if
meaningful), for example with a pressure measuring
device and a temperature measuring device.
Common cause faults
Common cause faults of the hardware can be caused by
external factors, such as electromagnetic interference
(EMC) or other environmental factors, such as temperature
or mechanical load. They have a simultaneous effect on
multiple components of a “safety-related system”.
When using devices in a redundant configuration, systematic faults are common cause. As a result, special measures must be used to avoid systematic faults during development. This includes, for example, qualitative
requirements of the IEC standard for the development process, the change process, and the HW/SW architecture of
the device.
The device manufacturer must provide data on the SIL rating with respect to systematic faults. This information is
usually present in the conformity certificate of the individual devices. This information can be supported by certificates produced by independent organizations such as the
TÜV (German Technical Inspectorate) or companies specialized in testing.
Calculation examples
(random faults)
Calculation of a safety-related system (SRS) with an
SIL 2 sensor
Calculation of a safety-related system (SRS) exclusively
with SIL 3 components
Prevailing values:
Prevailing values:
PFD sensor A
PFD controller
PFD actuator
PFDSys = 1.5 * 10-3
1.5 * 10-3
(suitable for SIL 2)
PFD sensor B
1.3 * 10
(suitable for SIL 3)
PFD controller
7.5 * 10
(suitable for SIL 3)
PFD actuator
1.3 * 10-4
7.5 * 10-4
6.09 * 10-4
PFDSys = 6.09 * 10-4
(suitable for SIL 3)
1.3 * 10
(suitable for SIL 3)
5.0 * 10
(suitable for SIL 3)
1.3 * 10-4
5.0 * 10-4
PFDSys = 2.38 * 10-3 (SIL 2)
PFDSys = 1.24 * 10-3 (SIL 2)
By using these components, the SRS achieves the PFD for
SIL 2.
By using these components, the SRS achieves the PFD for
SIL 2.
This example clearly shows that the SRS does not
achieve the PFD for SIL 3 despite the exclusive use of
SIL 3 components.
10 ≤ PFD < 10
10-2 ≤ PFD < 10-1
10-3 ≤ PFD < 10-2
10-3 ≤ PFD < 10-2
10 ≤ PFD < 10
10-4 ≤ PFD < 10-3
10-5 ≤ PFD < 10-4
10-5 ≤ PFD < 10-4
Important note:
The calculations shown refer exclusively to random
faults! Whether an SRS actually fulfills the demands of
the required SIL must additionally be checked with
respect to the systematic faults.
The examples shown here are very simply, and only to
provide basic understanding. These examples cannot
be applied to an exact calculation!
The following abbreviations are used in the calculation
Mean failure probability of function for the demand
Failure probability of the system (the complete SRS)
Failure probability of sensor
Failure probability of logic components/controller
Failure probability of actuator
Calculation of a safety-related system (SRS) with redundant sensors
Calculation of a safety-related system (SRS) with redundant sensors (poorer actuator value)
Prevailing values:
Prevailing values:
PFD sensor A
1.5 * 10-3
(suitable for SIL 2)
PFD sensor A
1.5 * 10-3
(suitable for SIL 2)
PFD sensor A
1.5 * 10-3
(suitable for SIL 2)
PFD sensor A
1.5 * 10-3
(suitable for SIL 2)
PFDS = 1.52 * 10-4
PFDS = 1.52 * 10-4
Determination of the PFD value for the redundant connection of the two sensors is too complex to be presented
here understandably. The value can vary greatly, for example if different technologies, manufacturers or device designs are used.
Determination of the PFD value for the redundant connection of the two sensors is too complex to be presented
here in a comprehensible manner. The value can vary
greatly, for example if different technologies, manufacturers or device designs are used.
PFD sensor AA
1.52 * 10-4
(suitable for SIL 3)
PFD sensor AA
1.52 * 10-4
(suitable for SIL 3)
PFD controller
1.3 * 10
(suitable for SIL 3)
PFD controller
1.3 * 10
(suitable for SIL 3)
PFD actuator
6.8 * 10-4
(suitable for SIL 3)
PFD actuator
7.5 * 10-4
(suitable for SIL 3)
PFDSys = 1.52 * 10
1.3 * 10
6.8 * 10
PFDSys = 1.52 * 10
1.3 * 10-4
7.5 * 10-4
PFDSys = 9.62 * 10-4 (SIL 3)
PFDSys = 1.03 * 10-3 (SIL 2)
By using these components, the SRS achieves the PFD for
SIL 3.
By using these components, the SRS achieves the PFD for
SIL 2.
This example clearly shows that the complete SRS
achieves the PFD for SIL 3 despite the use of SIL 2 components.
This example clearly shows that the SRS does not
achieve the PFD for SIL 3 despite the use of redundant
SIL 2 sensors.
10 ≤ PFD < 10
10-2 ≤ PFD < 10-1
10-3 ≤ PFD < 10-2
10-3 ≤ PFD < 10-2
10-4 ≤ PFD < 10-3
10-4 ≤ PFD < 10-3
10-5 ≤ PFD < 10-4
10 ≤ PFD < 10
Testing and certification
Is the highest possible SIL advantageous?
Companies operating plants are responsible for proving
the functional safety of their plant. They are frequently
unsure whether a high or low SIL should be achieved for
their plant. The demand for a certain SIL results from
determination of the residual risk exhibited by the plant.
The lowest possible SIL should always be striven for. This
not only results in significant cost advantages, but also
permits a far greater selection of devices.
A high SIL is only striven for if it is unavoidable or if cost
advantages then result elsewhere, permitting saving again
of the extra costs (e.g. by saving expensive additional construction measures).
Why is it advantageous for a company to have a plant
in accordance with IEC 61508/61511?
These standards also provide a common base for manufacturers and users to monitor the effectiveness of the development processes. When users choose safe devices to
achieve the intended SIL for their plants, they can be sure
that uniform methods were used in development.
It is then easier for the company operating the plant to
provide the proof for risk reduction required by law. This
can be required to achieve operating approval for the
plant. It is not absolutely essential to use SIL-classified
products, however, the demonstration of compliance is
greatly simplified since the residual risk is already known
(and unambiguous) for these products.
How secure is bus communication?
A clear trend can be observed in the process industry: more and more data is transferred between the components. This
occurs by means of various protocols, such as HART, PROFIBUS or Foundation Fieldbus - either with digital signals modulated up to the analog 4 through 20 mA signal or by means of bus communication with a fieldbus.
Due to the variety of possible errors, such as electromagnetic interference (EMC) and the complexity of the bus system,
the data transfer in conventional bus systems is not inherently reliable.
Special software algorithms that can ensure reliable transfer are thus required for safe data communication via a bus or
fieldbus. The only protocol that currently fulfills these requirements is PROFIBUS with a PROFIsafe profile. PROFIsafe has
long since proven itself for safety-relevant applications in the production industry. In the process industry, PROFIsafe is
becoming increasingly important with the continuously growing number of available field devices and also contributes
to the use of the advantages of the fieldbus technology in safety-relevant systems.
How is the assesment carried out?
The following elements can be assessed:
• The complete device
• Random faults (only hardware)
• Systematic faults (hardware and software)
New plants - old plants (protection of inventory)
Inventory protection applies to existing plants. However,
this means that, with plant conversions or expansions, the
newly added parts will be assessed according to the new
Testing and certification
Device ratings by manufacturers
Rating in accordance with IEC 61508: the definitions of
IEC 61508 cover the complete product lifecycle from initial
concept up to discontinuation of a product. In order to
develop a component according to this standard, appropriate procedures and additional technical measures must be
taken and verified from development through production.
This often makes the development of a failsafe product
more expensive than that of a standard component without SIL certification.
Rating in accordance with IEC 61511 (operational
proof): at the moment there are a limited number of
devices which have been certified in accordance with the
IEC61508 standard. In order to allow a practicable selection of devices, the possibility of operational proof for
devices has been permitted in IEC 61511.
In practice, the older devices have been used successfully
for many years. Therefore a statement on the functional
safety can be provided by considering failure statistics
under certain conditions. The objective is to determine
within a reasonable doubt whether the required functional
safety is also actually provided. Evidence must be provided
to show a sufficient number of units in the field, and
include data on the operating period and conditions of
use. The minimum period of use is 1 year and additionally
a specified number of operating hours. The operational
proof only applies to the version/release of the product for
which the proof has been provided. All future modifications of the product must subsequently be carried out in
accordance with IEC 61508.
What certificates are required - and who can provide
The plant operators require proof of the SIL classification
of the components used by the SRS. According to IEC
61511, manufacturer declarations are entirely sufficient.
Certificates are neither stipulated by law nor required by
the standard.
In order to be able to issue a manufacturer declaration or a
certificate, a technical assessment of the safety components used is required. This assessment is often performed
by an independent organization. The manufacturer can
issue a manufacturer declaration after a successful assessment and can also refer to the test report of the
In contrast to manufacturer declarations, certificates can
only be issued by an accredited organization (e.g. TÜV).
Independent person
Independent department
Independent organization
Independent organization
Overview, which instance assesses
The higher the safety required for a plant, the more independent the person must be who carries out judgment of
the functional safety.
Declaration of
confirmity (manufacturer’s
The manufacturer certifies that a particular SIL
has been achieved according to his tests and
calculations or as a result of operational proof.
The tests are often carried out by a testing
authority such as TÜV.
Is issued by an independent, accredited organization (e.g. TÜV).
Overview of possible certificates
Testing and certification
Possible configurations
(single-channel / redundant)
Single-channel configuration
One single device
Redundant, two-channel configuration
Two devices of same type
Completely redundant configuration
Two different devices
(measure to ensure that systematic faults cannot occur
Pressure measuring
device A
Pressure measuring
device B
Two different technologies
Important statements concerning the topic of SIL are
summarized again below:
• The device supplier has no influence on the SIL rating of
the plant.
• In order to assess whether a safety-related system (SRS)
complies with a required SIL, it is always necessary to
calculate the failure probability of the random faults.
• In the end, the value of the failure probability of the
used components is therefore of significance to the
company operating the plant. The SIL rating of the
device can therefore frequently only be used as an
approximate value for the calculation.
• In addition, the processing system must satisfy the systematic fault prevention requirements.
• The statement on the SIL rating of a device only means
that it is basically suitable for use in a plant with a corresponding SIL rating.
• The standard requires assessment of the functional
safety. Certificates are neither required by the standard nor stipulated by law.
• The application standard IEC 61511 applies to the process industry.
Further information can be found on the Internet
The information provided in this brochure contains
merely general descriptions or performance characteristics which in case of actual use do not always apply as
described or which may change as a result of further
development of the products. An obligation to provide
the respective characteristics shall only exist if expressly
agreed in the terms of contract.
All product designations may be trademarks or product
names of Siemens AG or supplier companies whose use
by third parties for their own purposes could violate the
rights of the owners.
Siemens AG
Process Industries and Drives
Östliche Rheinbrückenstr. 50
76181 Karlsruhe
Subject to change without prior notice
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