Next up after Heinz Gall was Austin Brell of Saudi Aramco. He reported on the just completed testing of Yokogawa’s ProSafe RS Safety Instrumented System for possible approval to join Aramco’s ESD vendor list.
Currently, the list includes Triconex, ICS Triplex, and Siemens (and Yokogawa) Quadlog.
The cycle for this kind of approval testing is about three years. Brell noted that the path SIS systems have taken leads directly to integrated SIS systems, and eventually, as current loops led to Fieldbus, to a Safety Bus system.
Why does Saudi Aramco want integrated safety systems? Thre are lots of reasons, including lower lifecycle cost, safer design, reduction in integration efforts, no data mapping, no interfaces to manage, easier time synchronization (after his talk, he and I and a fellow from the Saudi Ministry of Electricity and Water had a fascinating discussion about the benefit of having a single time synch pulse instead of many…the Ministry guy said that synch in his operation could drift 500 ms in a short time), one basic engineering interface, common alarm and events, and a safer and more cost effective integration of field devices. The long term driver is to use HART and Foundation Fieldbus in the SIS.
Brell described the evaluation criteria, and then described the tests themselves. They have done two sets of tests, five days each, and they are waiting for Saudi Aramco management to approve the results of the tests so they can announce if Yokogawa’s ProSafe RS is going to be on the approved vendor list. He resolutely refused to even give a hint.
I am in discussions with Austin and his boss Ibrahim (who is a graduate of the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA– where my mother-in-law graduated in 1940–this aside brought to you by the “department of it’s a tiny world, isn’t it)to have them write up this as a two-part article for Control.