Functional Safety Management Evaluations of Process Installations: IEC 61511

March 17, 2011

For operators of process installations such as chemical plants, oil refineries, and paper mills, IEC 61511 is a critical safety standard.

IEC 61511 is the technical standard that sets out practices in the engineering of systems that ensure the safety of an industrial process through the use of instrumentation. Such systems are referred to as Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS), and the title of the standard is “Functional Safety — Safety Instrumented Systems for the Process Sector.”

This standard defines the functional safety requirements established by IEC 61508 in process industry sector terminology. IEC 61511 focuses attention on one type of instrumented safety system used within the process sector, the SIS. The standard does not provide requirements for other instrumented safety systems, such as fire and gas systems, safety alarms, or safety controls.

“Companies that manufacture products used in the process industries need to understand that their customers will use IEC 61511 to manage functional safety in their plants and installations,” says Thomas Maier, principal engineer, functional safety, at Underwriters Laboratories (UL). “If they supply the process industries, there are safety requirements with respect to 61511; they will have to fulfill those requirements to be compatible with the functional safety needs of their principal trading partners. UL can help them do this.”

UL does IEC 61511 certification. It offers component or product certification in accordance with the principle functional safety standard IEC 61508, making sure that this is suitable for applications in accordance with IEC 61511. It can also evaluate and certify a complete safety instrumented function. As part of this practice, UL offers:
    - A Functional Safety Listing Mark for IEC 61511
    - A Functional Safety Recognized Component Mark for IEC 61511
    - A three-year Functional Safety Certificate for IEC 61511
    - Informative Test Reports for IEC 61511

For more information on IEC 61511 certification, please contact:

Kevin Connelly
[email protected]

Or go to the web:

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