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Proof-Testing Level-Measurement Devices in Storage-Tank Safety Systems

By AnnCharlott Enberg, Emerson |

Storage tanks containing hazardous materials require safety instrumented systems (SIS) to prevent overfills. Digital technology in the latest level-measurement devices used in SIS enables remote proof-testing, which provides significant advantages At industrial facilities with tanks containing hazardous, flammable or explosive materials, the consequences of a safety incident, such as an overfill, can be catastrophic. To minimize risks, storage tanks must have in place robust safety instrumented systems (SIS) that are designed and implemented in compliance with relevant industry standards. Each SIS has one or more safety instrumented functions (SIF), which must be proof-tested periodically. This article discusses proof-testing of safety systems on storage tanks, and the potential advantages available when digital technologies are applied to storage-tank level measurement. Safety standards The relevant industry standards for SIS and tank safety are the following: IEC 61511. The International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC; Geneva, Switzerland; www.iec.ch) IEC 61511 standard, which outlines best safety practices for implementing a modern SIS within the chemical process industries (CPI). IEC 61511 is an industry-specific adaptation…
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