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Utilising IIoT technologies to drive safer working practices

04 February 2019

There has been an evident increase in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-related technologies across all industries. This emerging technology has altered the way in which industries tackle work execution processes and therefore in turn altering the way that safety is managed.

Extremely accurate decisions are paramount and IIoT technologies enable this. They collect data quickly and allow decisions to be made in a faster, more precise manner. This is why they are great for perfecting process safety among all industries. 

This piece will demonstrate the five key steps that are needed when integrating new IIoT technologies. This will manage overall risks and hazards to essentially avoid costly unscheduled asset downtime. 

Step 1: Digitising with IIoT 

Firstly, it is important to capture the data flowing from the various safety related tools such as Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS), Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF), Layer of Protection Analysis systems (LOPA), Process Hazards Analysis tools (PHA), and Hazard and Operability tools (HazOp). It is vital that this data is centralised into a digital database, in order to make safety critical design information consistent. 

These traditional safety tools are designed to meet specific safety parameters. However, how they perform once deployed may be different from the original design intent. Therefore, the “as designed” data (e.g., demand rates, test intervals, time in bypass) should be digitally connected to the “as operating” data so that the potential safety risks presented by systems degradation can be assessed in real-time. By digitally connecting to existing systems and data sources, the need for manual data collection and data handling is minimised. 

Read the full article in the February issue of DPA

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