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Paul Gruhn

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Paul Gruhn

Paul Gruhn

ISA President Elect 2018 & ISA President 2019, ISA

Paul Gruhn is a Global Functional Safety Consultant with aeSolutions in Houston, Texas. Paul is an ISA Life Fellow, a 25+ year member and co-chair of the ISA 84 standard committee (on safety instrumented systems), the developer and instructor of ISA courses on safety systems, the author of two ISA textbooks, and the developer of the first commercial safety system software modeling program. Paul has a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in Texas, a member of the Control Systems Engineering PE exam committee, and both a Certified Functional Safety Expert (CFSE) and an ISA 84 Safety Instrumented Systems Expert. Paul is the 2018 ISA President-elect Secretary.

Why selecting safety integrity levels (SIL) for fire and gas systems is NOT a good idea

Process Safety

Abstract: There are many devices (sensors, logic solvers and final elements) used in safety instrumented systems that are independently certified for use in certain safety integrity levels (SIL). There is considerable debate however whether fire & gas system hardware should have SIL ratings at all. Vendors are naturally interested in promoting independently certified hardware in order to differentiate their products. Considering the differences between safety instrumented systems and fire & gas systems, focusing on the SIL rating or performance of the actual fire & gas hardware alone is considered by some to be a misleading and questionable practice. This presentation reviews a) the differences between safety instrumented systems and fire & gas systems, b) how typical voting of fire & gas sensors not only reduces nuisance trips (which is desirable) but also reduces the likelihood of the system actually responding to a true demand (which is not desirable), and c) why concepts and standards that apply to safety instrumented systems (e.g., SIL ratings) may not be appropriate for fire & gas systems.

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