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Functional Safety for Process Technology

With automatisation of process technology in quick progress, Process Control Systems (PCS) have gained ever more importance at avoiding the risk of facilities over the last years. Through the development of guidelines and generic standards for functional safety nationally (e. g. VDI/VDE guidelines 2180, Namur recommendations) and internationally (generic standard IEC 61508, series of standards for the process industry IEC 61511), the development of MSR-technical components and of components of Automation Technology have significantly accelerated over the last decade.

On the basis of risk assessments and the development of safety concepts in interdisciplinary teams the part of functional safety is determined today which fulfills a specific safety instrumented function (SIF) through the safety instrumented system (SIS). Further risks of facilities can be covered through other means, for example through safety relief valves or organisational measures.

The amount of functional safety that can be covered through the PLT protection device (PLT-SE) is hereby quantified in so-called safety integrity levels (SIL).

During the course of a life cycle of a PLT protection device numerous requirements for the realisation of sufficient functional safety are stipulated. In order to ensure this over the entire life cycle different reqirements are postulated in the relevant frameworks, which need to be considered in the contect of a legally binding installation and the operation of facilities and during all phases of its operation. This means we have to start with the definition of a desired functionality, during the underlying risk assessment, the specification of the PLT protection device, the design and planning, assembly, assessment before installation, the operation, maintenance and changes as well as the decommissioning of the PLT protection device.

The framework for the usage of these guidelines and groups of standards got ever more complicated during the last years and the handling for operators ever more difficult, which do not possess adequate operating departments.

Qualified employees of TÜV NORD support you according to the requirements in interdisciplinary teams during all phases of the lifecycle of functional safety, because they have the expertise to assess your specific facility problems and your questions.

In addition to facility safety the main goals of facility planning and operation are efficiency, planning reliability and legal certainty. VdTUV has found that, during the evaluation of reports, technical deficiencies or documentation shortcomings can be identified in very fourth facility, which leads to avoidable costs and time shifting.

TÜV NORD accompanies their customers for more than 140 years throughout Germany and in more than 70 countries as a reliable and independent partner in all questions of functional safety. Structured, conscious of cost and dates, we offer a solution oriented service portfolio to planers and operators of plants. Our service portfolio consists of:


  • E-learning regarding functional safety in process industry free of charge
  • Trainings and workshops regarding IEC 61511
  • Coaching regarding installation or assessment of the safety management system

Pre- and Design Assessments (e.g. TÜV NORD SIL approved)

  • Moderation and documentation of the hazards- and risk analysis
  • Evaluation of the safety specifications (hardware and software)
  • Structured and quantitative proof of the SIL and its verification
  • Preparation, expert monitoring and documentation of factory approvals (e.g. FAT)

Legally Binding Assessments

  • Assessments according to §14 BetrSichV (assessments of work equipment)
  • Assessments according to §15 BetrSichV (assessment prior to commissioning and if changes occur)
  • Assessments according to §16 and §19(5) BetrSichV (recurring assessments and after occurence of an accident)
  • Assessments according to §29a Federal Emmission Protection Law

Coaching Services for the Operation of a Facility

  • Coaching regarding the collection of disturbance data as well as assessment and coaching regarding the proof of plant operation
  • Coaching regarding change management
  • Audits of operation assessments regarding functional safety

To clarify further questions and in order to put together a service portfolio which is customized to your needs you may contact us at any time. We are looking Forward to Hearing from you and helping you achievig your goals.