Using Alarm Annunciators in SIL1 Safety Systems

Safety Certified alarm annunciators such as the Omni16 from Omniflex, perform a vital role in providing a layer of protection capable of handling complex and unexpected dangerous conditions in accordance with IEC61508.

Alarms in Sub-Station

The introduction of the IEC61508 standard has introduced a very broad but systematic framework which allows plant engineers to apply formal functional safety concepts systematically to all modern control equipment. The management of alarms is also gaining more attention, with such standards as EEMUA 191 gaining prominence, as operators become exposed more and more alarms on the plant.

Alarm annunciators are an integral part of safety planning, especially in processing plants where alarm conditions can be numerous. An alarm, or combination of several alarm conditions, often requires a reaction of an operator in order to either investigate the cause of alarms or take the steps required by safety procedures in order to eliminate the condition. It becomes important for critical alarms to not become lost in a flood of less important alarms when a plant upset occurs.

It is also common practice today for plants to specify that all safety-related functions meet the requirements of IEC61508, and therefore that all safety-related equipment should comply with the SIL requirements of SIL requirements of IEC61508.

SIL Certified Alarm annunciators such as the Omni16 from Omniflex solve both these requirements by providing guaranteed non-maskable and fast alarm recognition by the operator, in an electronic product certified for use in SIL rated safety systems.

The Omni16 Alarm Annunciator from Omniflex was the first alarm annunciator in the world to be certified to SIL1 in accordance with IEC61508. The Omni16 alarm annunciator has become a de facto standard in many process plants and has been widely proven in such critical applications as the petrochemical and nuclear power industries over many years.

There is no doubt that with the growing emphasis on functional safety assessment and risk reduction, alarm annunciators are steadily gaining in popularity as an important tool in achieving these safety objectives. The Omni16 family of alarm annunciators meet all the requirements for these modern safety systems, and Omniflex is the leader in the development and manufacture of safety related alarm systems. Omniflex is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art products in this field and to promote an understanding of functional-safety issues.

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