Himax safety system passes Shell assessment tests
Hima Paul Hildebrandt
Himax safety system
Hima Paul Hildebrandt has revealed that its Himax safety system has successfully passed comprehensive assessment tests carried out by Shell.
This means Himax can be used worldwide in Shell's future projects without the need for additional evaluations.
As with its chosen control systems, Shell performs assessment tests (acceptance tests) on safety systems.
During the qualification process, the product is subjected to an extensive and demanding evaluation.
The objective of the assessment testing is to evaluate and document the safety system's strengths and weaknesses, as well as the project work of the system supplier.
Himax, a system for mid-size and large applications, allows uninterrupted system operation throughout a plant's entire lifecycle.
The largest part of the assessment test was performed in spring 2010 at Hima's headquarters in Bruhl (Baden-Wurttemberg).
One of Shell's main interests during the assessment test was to determine to what extend Himax meets the demands and safety requirements of end users.
Himax can be integrated with all leading control systems, according to Hima, and completely separates the safety system from the control system.
Separating the hardware from the software guarantees a technical absence of reaction and ensures that safety-critical design, programming and operating errors (human common cause faults) are avoided.
'If no common mode failures may occur, a very good solution is a standalone safety system with a communication interface to the DCS,' said Audun Gjerde from Shell Global Solutions.
During the assessment testing, four Himax systems were tested with four different control systems (Yokogawa, Siemens, Honeywell and Emerson).
Essential components of the assessment testing included a communication test, a hardware stress test, a FAT stress test, a temperature test, and an asset management test.
Gjerde said: 'The performance of Himax is impressive, above all the performance between two safety controllers.
'The reaction rate of the controller under load is remarkable, as well as the fact that the configuration can be adjusted to the desired rate,' he added.
The communication, stress and temperature tests were also completed to Shell's satisfaction.
After successful completion of the assessment test, Himax is technically qualified to be used on Shell projects.
Gjerde said: 'Looking back at the testing period, we usually try to take systems beyond their limits but this was admittedly difficult with Himax.
'The option to perform changes online and replace the hardware during the system operation avoids undesired process shutdowns,' he added.
He also pointed to the function blocks for the SILworx engineering tool as additional advantages.
He said: 'The function blocks are an advantage for Shell.
'We prefer working with libraries and like to use the same solution in follow-up projects,' Gjerde added.
The Hima safety system also scored well in the important area of cyber security.
The Achilles testing device from Wurldtech Security Technologies was used during the development of Himax and the company issued Hima the Achilles Level I Security Certificate in 2009.
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