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Performance based standards like ISA 84.01 and IEC61508 utilize a combination of hardware reliability calculation to reduce the effect of random faults and qualitative rules to combat systematic faults. The hardware verification step requires that a safety instrumented system designer calculate specific safety metrics (PFDavg and SFF). There are several problems with this requirement and implementers are concerned about cost,timing and actual value of the calculation. This paper discusses the problems, the current perceptions, the solutions and the value of reliability calculations as a method of assuring safety.
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