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“Keep on top of functional safety standards to safeguard future” – oil & gas industry urged

20 May 2016

Local expertise provides flawless safety project execution, solutions and consulting services

ABB is urging the oil & gas industry not to overlook the impending changes in functional safety standards in light of falling revenues and a reduction in expertise within the industry.

John Walkington, ABB’s principal safety consultant and TÜV Rheinland FS expert says: “Although there is reduced capital investment as a result of falling oil and gas revenues, changes to industry good practice safety standards and their link to current legislation are increasing the demand to improve functional safety. This takes money and resources. Yet the industry’s competency is under scrutiny as technical and process skills decline through redundancy, retirement and staff moving to less volatile industries.”

ABB is recognised as the global leader* in automation and functional safety with more than 280 TÜV and CFSE-certified and over 500 ABB technology-certified safety engineers, together with some 25 safety execution centres (SECs), with the majority certified by either TÜV Rheinland or TÜV SÜD.

Walkington is urging the oil and gas industry to further exploit ABB’s complete safety life cycle expertise to drive productivity and process safety improvements from its position as the number one supplier for in-country functional safety project management, SIL capable products and systems, process, functional safety consultancy and operations and maintenance life cycle service support for safety instrumented systems (SISs).

“The pressures facing the oil and gas industry cannot be over-stated. Many companies have over-allocated resources performing many activities, which over time may lead to the potential for lost production, inefficiency and, in some cases, impacting on safety performance. Revenues have fallen resulting in limited capital available for project improvements and asset life extension.

Against this backdrop, there is still a need to ensure plant and production reliability and sustainability. Industry continues to balance the need for profitability against the cost of safety.

“Coupled with this are evolving regulations for which companies need to respond and provide a fully compliant functional safety management system. Yet this all costs money, resources and time.

“The need for local reliable engineering resources and quality safety automation solutions has grown exponentially over the past few years. The depth and scope of our regulatory, technical and project execution knowledge provides our customers with the trusted expertise they need to successfully protect the integrity of their process, plant and people.”

The functional safety management system (FSMS) programme managed by the ABB safety lead competency centre (SLCC) continues unabated in providing a proven methodology for delivering safety systems that meet international standards and good practices, and ensures consistent, flawless execution of these safety related projects all over the world.

“Our functional safety philosophy requires an in-depth judgment of each single location in order to confirm correct understanding and application of expected safety application requirements,” explains Walkington. “As such the motivation for accountability and compliance on safety requirements is significant from within the local management/design teams. As part of our quality processes, the verification and validation audits and assessments implemented with the safety life cycle are based on a wide range of necessary topics for all activities within design and engineering to ensure our clients are effectively receiving the output from the said FSMS procedures.”

Walkington continues: “Functional safety is all-embracing. It not only covers the safety systems themselves, but also aspects of their life cycle systematic capability inclusive of the supply chains that together ensure that they perform the required safety functionality & integrity as designed.

“ABB is the largest supplier of automation systems for the oil and gas, petrochemical and power industries worldwide. It is vital to demonstrate that we can follow applicable international standards and are able to deliver consistently performing, compliant safety systems from our execution centres around the world. ABB is committed to providing our customers with the resources, technology and tools they need to help them operate their plants more safely, as well as protect their employees, the environment and the surrounding community.”

For more information, please contact:

Howard Road
Eaton Socon
St Neots
PE19 8EU
Tel: +44 7515 196824
Fax: +44 1480 488283
Email: moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com
Web: www.abb.com
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