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Today's programmable electronic technology allows automation of chemical processes to an ever increasing level of complexity. Benefits are being achieved in product manufacturing, throughput, and quality. However increased automation can result in complex functional safety issues (i.e., safety-related process hazards). Functional safety issues are addressed by American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) - Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) (1)(2)(8), Instrumentation Systems and Automation Society (ISA) (3)(6)(7), and International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) (4)(5). These resources [(1) through (8) inclusive] each utilize the functional safety life cycle as a tool to ensure all aspects of functional safety are addressed. Many safety issues have an asset dimension (e.g., loss of production, equipment damage) that is typically mitigated by the process safety safeguards. This paper addresses non-safety related asset issues as well as the process safety issues in describing its qualitative approach to SIF reliability specification. The method is defined as the AIB method (Approved Independent Backup). The key features of the AIB method will be compared to LOPA.
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