Shell approves HIMA HIMax Safety System | Automation.com

Shell approves HIMA HIMax Safety System

Shell approves HIMA HIMax Safety System
December 16, 2010 – Shell recently performed comprehensive assessment tests of the HIMax safety system from HIMA Paul Hildebrandt GmbH + Co KG. With successful completion of the tests, HIMax can be used worldwide in the oil company's future projects, without 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, the system for mid-size and large applications, is the first safety system to allow uninterrupted system operation throughout a plant's entire life cycle. The largest part of the assessment test was performed in the spring of 2010 at HIMA`s headquarters in Brühl (Baden-Württemberg). One of Shell's main interests during the assessment test was to determine to what extent HIMax meets the demands and safety requirements of end users.

Like all other HIMA systems, HIMax can be integrated with all leading control systems. In contrast to solutions from other manufacturers, HIMA 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," explains Audun Gjerde from Shell Global Solutions.

During the assessment testing, four HIMax systems were tested with four different control systems (Yokogawa, Siemens, Honeywell, Emerson) – double the number set forth in the specification. 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. "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," says Gjerde.

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 noted, "During the tests, we usually try to take systems beyond their limits, but this was admittedly difficult with HIMax."

With respect to the stress test, Gjerde particularly mentioned the availability of HIMax. "The option to perform changes online and replace the hardware during the system operation avoids undesired process shut-downs." He also points to the function blocks for the SILworX engineering tool as additional advantages. "The function blocks are an advantage for Shell. We prefer working with libraries and like to use the same solution in follow-up projects."

The HIMA safety system also scored well in the important area of cyber security. The Achilles testing device from Wurldtech Security Technologies Ind. was used during the development of HIMax and the Canadian company issued HIMA the Achilles Level I Security Certificate in 2009. "With this certification, HIMA demonstrated that they know how to handle cyber security. We have been requiring the Achilles test since several years. HIMA was familiar with our requirements and was able to meet them," says Gjerde.

About HIMA
HIMA Paul Hildebrandt GmbH + Co KG – safety-related automation solutions for process, machine and building safety HIMA is the world’s leading independent designer and provider of automated safety solutions. Over the past 40 years, more than 25,000 HIMA systems have been installed worldwide to protect the assets of the world’s major oil, gas and processing companies. That same technology is being applied to develop new, creative solutions for machine and building safety. HIMA solutions are currently implemented in more than 80 countries.

Founded in Germany in 1908, HIMA has achieved numerous development milestones in the safety-related automation technology sector since the introduction of the world’s first TÜV-certified safety system in 1970. Currently, one in every four of the roughly 600 employees is involved solely in research and development activities. With a continuously growing network of affiliates, sales and service centers and representation in more than 50 countries, we are ideally equipped to support projects from their initial consulting phase throughout ongoing maintenance activities.

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