At United Electric Controls, we’re continuously focused on providing high quality products that resonate with the various industries that we serve. Through market research with different customer groups, we’ve been able to focus on defining the problems that our customers face when trying to make their processes safe and their plants run smoothly.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with functional safety engineers and managers at major chemical companies and plants in order to learn more about our target market. We then worked with the information that we learned to focus on their problems and not our proposed product features. Our team appeared as consultants and not sales people, allowing these people to open up while we obtained the maximum and untainted amount of “problem” data. We learned a lot about how to define our One Series Safety Transmitter (ST, aka safety sensor, One ST) to help with the following challenges:
- Nuisance trips – will the ST shut down my plant unnecessarily? Can I get an alarm ahead of an emergency shutdown (ESD)? Can I create an intelligent system that knows the difference between a dangerous versus abnormal situation and help me avoid nuisance trips?
- Response time – will the ST react fast enough? My applications require a fast-acting sensing device for positive displacement pumps. My safety system must react in 500 milliseconds to an abnormal situation and make the proper decision – ESD or alarm only. Which is warranted? The automated safety system must decide, not an operator that may have had a bad day!
- Security – will the ST make us vulnerable to cyber-attack? The safety sensor must be password protected, tamper resistant and protect me from losing my password.
- Flexibility – is the ST a transmitter? A switch? Both? I want to use the One ST in voting logic schemes. Can you provide features that enable that?
- Design – does the ST provide everything I need to design a safe yet flexible safety instrumented system (SIS)? Is it certified for use in SIL 2 applications? The product must be certified by a third-party agency. We chose exida for our certification. They are worldwide leaders in SIS certifications per the standard IEC 61508.
We then created a product definition based on these customers’ problems:
- It must be a transmitter with standard 4-20 mA output
- It must be certified for use in SIL 2 safety systems, capable of SIL 3 with redundancy
- It must include and communicate self-diagnostics information with auxiliary outputs for safety PLC voting schemes
- It must include a fast high-capacity programmable safety relay
Ultimately, we used this information and our knowledge of the industries that we serve to create a product that would resonate with functional safety engineers that are working specifically on safety instrumented systems:
Some standout features of our One Series Safety Transmitter:
- 2-wire loop powered 24 VDC NAMUR standard 4 – 20 mA output
- Certified by exida for use in SIL 2 functional safety systems; capable of SIL 3 with redundancy
* Industry’s highest Safe Failure Fraction at 98.8%
* Discrete outputs, including diagnostics and set point status, which facilitate voting logic schemes
* Hi-capacity programmable safety relay capable of controlling the final element directly
* Capable of replacing a switch + gauge + transmitter (replace 3 instruments with one)
* These are the resonators
To learn more about how we create and design our wide range of products that resonate, be sure to visit us at the Power-Gen International Exhibition in Orlando, Florida from December 9-11 at booth 534 at the Orange County Convention Center. We’ll be showcasing the One Series Safety Transmitter and visitors will have the opportunity to speak with our application engineers.