Shell awards safety system passing grade following assessment test

HIMA's HIMax Safety System stands up to examination, clearing it for use in Shell facilities worldwide.


Shell tests the HIMax safety system.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 process control systems, Shell performs acceptance tests on safety systems. During the process, the product is subjected to an extensive and demanding evaluation. The objective 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, allows 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).

HIMax can operate with multiple control system platforms.HIMA says that its systems, including HIMax, can be integrated with all leading control platforms. It completely separates the safety system from the control system, which 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, Shell Global Solutions.

During the assessment testing, four HIMax systems were tested with four different control systems, Yokogawa, Siemens, Honeywell, and 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 option to perform changes online and replace the hardware during the system operation avoids undesired process shut-downs."

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 company issued HIMA the Achilles Level I Security Certificate in 2009.

Edited by Peter Welander,

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