Charles Fialkowski| Apr 14, 2014

Separation requirements for your BMS at sites with mulitple boilers?

For years, I have always driven for complete seperation and independence for all PLC based burner management systems (BMS) as per my own personal interpetation (per NFPA 85 requirements).  Below is an excerpt from the current NFPA 85 standard.  I'm NOT talking about seperation between the control layer and the safety layer, rather, what to do when your plant has multiple boilers on site?   4.11.7* Requirement for Independence. Except as noted in, the burner managementsystem sh ...

Charles Fialkowski| Jan 08, 2014

Fialkowski to Present on NFPA equivalency clause at Instrumentation Symposium

If you've ever wondered how you can acheive compliance on your BMS to the prescribed requirements in the NFPA standards (85, 86 or 87) you should attend my presentation on Tuesday, January 21st @ 3:20pm at the 69th Annual Instrumentation Symposium for the Process Industries, January 21-23, 2014 - Memorial Student Center, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.  This paper was a great collaborative effort between myself, Michael Polagye, FM Global and Mike Scott, AEsolns. The program, ...

Charles Fialkowski| Sep 19, 2013

What SIL level should your burner management system achieve

A few weeks ago I attended a technical conference in Alaska where Mr. Mike Scott from AEsolutions was a presenter.  Mike's presentation title was "Safety Instrumented BMS" which of course I was extremely interested in hearing someone else's take on this.  Mike talked about the potential risks associated with any application with a flame (boilers, heaters, thermal oxidizers, process heaters, etc..) and in summary he concluded that all the applications he sees would require a SIL 2 BMS t ...

Charles Fialkowski| Aug 09, 2013

How to invoke the equivalency clause in NFPA standards

When dealing with a prescriptive standards such as the NFPA 85, NFPA 86 or NFPA 87 standards, there are a number of prescribed requirements that often conflict with using modern performance based equipement (i.e. using an external watchdog timer for a Safety PLC, using hardwired relays,etc). I have challenged these concepts since the start of my career in Industrial automation as I worked for a major manufacturer of combustion equipment and believed there had to be a better way..... All NFPA sta ...

Charles Fialkowski| Aug 02, 2013

Understand the mysterious Proof Test for Safety PLCs

I've posted about this topic before, but I still see much confusion on the topic.  So please.....let me explain.... In order to 'predict' the level of "safety" your PLC would provide, one would need to know 3 key variables: Dangerous failure rate this value will vary per manufacturere, is usually refered to as "lamda dangerous" (or simply ....lamda D) Manual Proof Test can be adjusted per the enduser, and typically starts at 1 year.  ArchitectureThe redundancy scheme that yo ...