HMI & SCADA open control software achieves SIL-2

26th January 2015
Barney Scott

Copa Data has received the Safety Integrity Level 2 (SIL-2) certification, carried out by TÜV Süd rail, and thus now meets requirements in accordance with the international standard IEC 61508 for the reliability of the safety functions of operational facilities. Companies that use its zenon software offering can achieve SIL-2 for their systems and infrastructures this way.

The SIL serves to evaluate electrical, electronic or programmable electronic systems with regard to reliability and safety. SIL represents the potential risk that arises from people, systems and processes, and the benchmark for the required safety of the system, depending on the danger.

There exist four safety integrity levels, whereby level 4 is the highest safety integrity and level 1 is the lowest. The specification, concept and operation of safety-related systems is based on the IEC 61508 standard. Furthermore, various, partly industry-specific norms such as EN 50129 for railway applications have been derived from it.

Safety functions serve to protect people, the environment and assets, and to avoid interruptions in operation and production. Typical safety functions are, for example, emergency-off switches or the monitoring of dangerous movements. If companies operate equipment with a safety-related function, they must define the necessary SIL for the respective safety function by analysing the potential of danger. In this analysis of scenarios, the failure and fault behaviour of a system, for example, or the redundant design of the system are included. According to the SIL determination, plant operators select the suitable components and systems for their equipment, which can correspond to this safety requirement level.

As part of the third-party certification, Copa Data's processes, procedures, tools, quality standards and documentation were tested to establish their suitability for safety-critical systems.

“For companies that operate industrial equipment or traffic infrastructure, it is important to guarantee safe operation and to adhere to international standards in the process,” explained Reinhard Mayr, Product Manager, Copa Data. “With the certification, TÜV Süd has confirmed that we have the corresponding expertise to set up SIL-2-compliant processes and SIL-2-compliant systems and thus support our customers in the SIL certification of their equipment.”

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