IEC 61511 Explained - All you need to know

Everything you need to know about the IEC 61511 training and certification

In different process industries, safety systems have been in place to ensure all the instrumented functions run safely. But for the instrumentation systems to run effectively, these systems must achieve a certain degree of safety standard across different levels. Helping these systems through a set of safety standards is the International Electrotechnical Commission’s standards.

These safety standards look at the application of different safety instrumented systems across processes, whilst reviewing process hazards and risks. This assessment is carried out stringently to attain the degree of safety that is deemed acceptable across different industries. Helping the process industry remain safe is the IEC 61511 standard.

What is IEC 61511 standard?

The process industry is one of the largest categories of industries in the world right now. It includes the likes of petrochemical, pharmaceutical, chemical among myriad other industries. It is also noteworthy to mention that the nuclear industry does not fall under process-oriented industries. Helping these process industries maintain requisite safety standards is the IEC 61511. Individuals with the IEC 61511 training have the requisite knowledge that covers various programmable electronic, and electrical equipment. The standard emphasizes on one of the sections of the instrumented safety system that is used in the process industry. This section is also called Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS).

Key components of IEC 61511

Individuals who have gone for the IEC 61511 training would define the standard as ‘Functional Safety – Safety instrumented systems for the process industry’ in three different parts, owing to how it was published:

-     Part 1 – The first part is normative that covers framework, definitions, system requirements across hardware and software

-     Part 2 – The second part is informative and covers how one can apply Part 1

-     Part 3 – The third part is informative too wherein it offers guidance on how one can determine different SIL requirements

The IEC 61511 training is suited especially for individuals who deal with different process applications or the ‘Safety Instrumented Functions (SIFs)’. This includes the likes of system suppliers, operators, maintainers, SIF specifiers, SIL determination analysts, and engineering procurement contract (EPC) companies.

IEC 61511 Standard Evolution

Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) have been reducing risks for over half a century. In the earlier days, systems implemented different instrumented functions using simple hydraulic, pneumatic, and electrical circuits. The failure modes were well defined and the requisite behavior to deal with these conditions was well defined and predicted.

But the 70s saw the development of electronic and programmable electronic systems in safety functions. These unlike their previous counterparts did not have well-defined failure modes and were subject to faults that were difficult to predict and eliminate. Over the last few years, this complexity has been increasing multifold and so is the risk of systematic failures. To ensure safety standards fall in line with what the requirements, they have seen a consistent and constant evolution. Individuals undergoing the IEC 61511 training will learn about the evolution of the standard.

In the IEC 61511 training, one will learn that the first edition of the standard was published in 2003 and the second edition in 2003. In the IEC 61511 training, one will also learn about the 200 modifications that happened in the second edition that include the likes of Safety Requirements Specification (SRS), Performance Monitoring, Failure Rates, IT Security, Functional Safety Management System (FSM) among others.

IEC 61511 Safety Lifecycle

Individuals who undertake the IEC 61511 training will also learn about the functional safety lifecycle of the standard. The functional safety lifecycle lays out a set of processes that ensure the proper implementation of the standard, and in the IEC 61511 training, one will learn that the functional safety lifecycle of IEC 61511 is classified as follows:

-       Analyse the problem and document the safety requirements

-      Using appropriate hardware and software subsystems and design methodologies, translate these requirements into system design

-      Evaluate the system and modify it against the desired reliability specifications

-     Operate and maintain the system according to the accepted procedures and document the results to ensure that the performance is maintained throughout

Learn more about IEC 61511 with TÜV SÜD

The IEC 61511 training offers individuals to learn about the practices across engineering systems that ensure and maintain the safety of industrial processes using instrumentation or what is referred to as Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS). Offering IEC 61511 training along with a certification program that is in accordance with different international bodies is TÜV SÜD South Asia. The IEC 61511 training offered by TÜV SÜD helps individuals train and certify their functional safety knowledge to meet the demands of industries and businesses. Moreover, with safety being recognised as a pivotal part of any operation, the IEC 61511 training is sought-after highly in the process industry, and with TÜV SÜD’s training, one can be assured of demonstrating their knowledge and commitment towards safety professionally, ensuring elevated safety standards and customer satisfaction in an organisation. To learn more about the IEC 61511 training and certification program offered by TÜV SÜD Middle East visit the Link


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