Safety Function Monitoring (Exaquantum/SFM)

Process safety is a disciplined framework for managing the integrity of systems and processes. Safe monitoring solutions' purpose is to reduce risk and to ensure that process plants are operating within tolerable limits for humans, the environment, assets, and production continuity.

It requires significant investment, in that many smart subject matter experts come together to analyze risk and design safety systems with very complicated math to ensure the ongoing risk at a plant is deemed tolerable. Assumptions are made to optimize solutions based on process.

The challenge becomes determining if real-time operating data supports the analysis, design, and assumptions used upfront. What happens when something changes? What happens when any of the initial assumptions just aren’t accurate? What happens when there is new risk that is not considered initially that occurs during plant operation?

Benefits of Safety Function Monitoring

Yokogawa’s Safety Function Monitoring (SFM) quickly identifies assumptions that fail to meet design targets, pinpoints the additional risk that was previously invisible, and empowers you to take action to eliminate risk from the business. It also facilitate the recording of new risk during plant operation.

SFM systems are the final piece within the lifecycle that protects your investment by keeping your risk profile aligned with what good looks like as defined by the subject matter experts.

Exaquantum/SFM R3.35 Released (September 2021)

SFM R3.35 provides continuous monitoring and evaluation of safety data to highlight deviations or failures in safety system performance and supports IEC 61511 standards with several new features including:

Cause and Effect matrix to quickly verify the logic of SIF activations and Final Elements (valves, vents, actuators, etc.) actuations to see if they match their configured or intended safety design

Enhanced proof testing by claiming proof test credit based on actual demand on the SIS during operation for SIF activations and Final Element actuations, with the functionality to record when proof tests have taken place and to monitor expiry dates of proof tests.

Click here to read the Yokogawa Press release

Exaquantum/SFM Overview

SFM is a software solution to monitor safety performance in response to the growing pressure from regulations and legislation regarding safety reporting and assessments.

Processing facilities are required to maintain a means to verify the safety performance of their safety systems that satisfy regulations and standards. They are required to produce detailed reports and evidence that support the regular assessments of their safety regime.

In the event of incorrect design assumption of the safety system, the process plant will be expose to unacceptable risk and result in overexposure to negative consequences to people, equipment and environment. Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) are there to ensure that a plant is taken into a safe state, limiting the negative consequences to people, equipment and the environment.

SFM provides continuous monitoring and evaluation of safety data to highlight deviations or failures in safety system design performance. It collects all safety related data to keep track and analyze key safety performance metrics including, SIF (Safety Instrumented Functions) activations, ILPs (Independent Layers of Protection), initiating causes and overrides. This information assists users to:

Add Value to real-time event data that you are already collecting in the context of process safety.

  • Validate trip events
  • Understand initiating causes from HAZOP
  • Aggregate time in bypass

Identify safety system bad actors as real-time performance does not align with your company’s risk assessment.

  • Frequent demands
  • Excessive bypassed
  • Invalid valve response time

Eliminate previously invisible risk by taking appropriate action as safety system bad actors become visible.

  • Associate event with PHA/LOPA data
  • Understand potential consequences
  • Focus on sibling protection layers until risk is addressed

Mimic what good looks like per your process safety and functional safety subject matter experts on a regular basis.

  • Trips vs assumed demands
  • Bypass vs Safety Availability
  • Actuation vs SIS design

Optimize your workforce by focusing and prioritizing efforts based on risk exposure, taking credit for verified system performance, and investigation valves as travel times worsen over time.

  • Take credit for properly executed trips
  • Streamline PHA revalidations based on actual performance

4 steps to digital risk management-SFM

4 steps to Digital Risk Management throughout safety life cycle


SIF Activation_Details_for_SIF01

Improve Safety
To provide the data and tools necessary to improve the safety design philosophy or make changes to the safety philosophy throughout the plant lifecycle.

Streamline Safety Compliance
To automatically collect and present safety performance information via a single access point that reduces manual overheads and errors, which simplifies compliance to safety standards.

Optimize SIS Costs
To reduce OPEX costs of maintaining safety excellence; an over-engineered SIS may exceed safety requirements but not be cost-effective, similarly an under engineered SIS maybe cost effective but may compromise safety.

Reduce Operational Risk
To highlight factors that impact safety operations, such as device failure rates, demand and availability, safety procedures and bypasses.

Overall SIF Report image

Automatic collection and display of safety events
Reduce manual overhead and errors providing dependable information for LOPA and HAZOP revalidations.

Visualise safety device performance that fail to meet targets
Degradation of hardware, increased awareness of safety risks and highlights when safety performance integrity has been compromised.

Capture safety device transitions and travel times
Determine whether the SIF and actuating devices operate within process safety limits.

Mark device actuations as possible test replacements
Optimizes proof testing by conveniently tracking when trips occur on final elements (valves, actuators) and recording data before, during and after a trip which can be evaluated to ensure every device performed as intended.

Assign reasons to SIF activations
Facilitates the revalidation of the Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) to take in to account events that have occurred during plant operations but are not yet included in the safety design.

Validate demand frequency
SIL re-classification

Capture SIF availability
Prove availability of safety system in plant (good for audits by authority or insurance).

Easily generate safety performance reports
Provides evidence of safety performance and SIF availability records for audit by regulatory authorities and supports LOPA and HAZOP re-validations.

SFM is Yokogawa's plant-wide safety monitoring solution provides analysis and reporting, helping customers monitor the performance effectiveness of defined SIS (Safety Instrumented Systems) against their design targets.

Exaquantum/SFM-SIF activationo

  • Automatically collects safety statistics to be used for Safety Instrumented Function (SIF) improvement.
  • Collects events from real-time operating data to ensure that risk levels remain tolerable on a regular basis.
  • Provides evidence of safety performance and SIF availability records for audit by regulatory authorities.
  • The designed safety performance is compared against the actual operational safety function activity to identify issues, validate safety design, and optimize proof test scheduling, in the process helping users to improve the safety and availability of the plant.
  • Facilitates the revalidation of the Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) to take in to account events that have occurred during plant operations but are not yet included in the safety design.


Data Collection
The underlying Exaquantum historian provides SFM with a powerful, integrated, cost-effective platform for collecting and storing data from different sources via OPC DA, OPC A&E and OPC HDA independent of the system vendor. OPC HDA has been expanded within Exaopc (Yokogawa’s OPC server) to allow historical Alarms & Events to be recovered following a communications interruption.

Risk Assessment (HAZOP, LOPA)
SFM is configured with the safety design expectations derived from the HAZOP risk assessments and (if conducted) LOPA data. This information is compared against the actual operational safety function activity that assists users in highlighting issues, helping to support the validation of safety demand rates and can help to optimize test scheduling. These findings can then be checked and verified against the base data within the defined SIS.

Web User Interface
SFM provides secure web based displays and reports for user access from local or remote locations and does not require any client software to be installed.

An overview of user filtered SIF KPIs is provided, allowing users to monitor and view the following information:

  • SIF Overview by Safety Integrity Level
    • Number of SIFs
    • Number of SIF activations
    • Number of SIF output faults (device failures)
  • ICSS (Integrated Control and Safety System) ILP Overview by Integrity Level showing both the number of currently inactive and user filtered date/time inactive ILPs
  • MOS (Maintenance Override Switch) Overview by Integrity Level showing both the number of SIFs currently in Maintenance Override and user filtered date/time SIF Maintenance Overrides

Identification of SIF Activations
SFM provides comprehensive Alarm & Events monitoring capabilities to assist management in the identification of SIF Activations. These activations are then converted into Reports, Overview screens and SIF Activation lists, all of which provide users with a clear picture as to which SIFs have activated, and more importantly, which activations can be assessed and verified against the SIS base data.

Exaquantum / SFM display image4

SIF Activation Analysis
When SIF Activations take place, SFM records key associated data that can be used to better understand the effect of the activation.

SFM records the following information:

  • Associated safety device transitions and travel times to determine the travel times of the devices when activated, versus the expected design times as defined in the safety design
  • Related process information (pressure, temperature, etc.) is recorded and trended before, during and following the activation. This process information can be compared against baseline data to show variations in the profile signature of any process data deviations
  • Actuating device starts and stops are overlaid onto process data trends making it easy to view changes in trends before and during device transitions

SIF Activation Verification
SFM can be used as a mechanism to show which SIFs have been activated, which can then be verified against the SIS base data. This verification process establishes the SIF Activation reason(s), which is also known as the ‘Initiating Cause’. The Initiating Cause(s) are derived from the safety design and imported into SFM. When an Initiating Cause has not been identified in the safety design, SFM allows a new Initiating Cause(s) to be defined that is displayed in various reports. These reports can verify against the safety design to initiate improvements.

Initiating Causes
SIF Initiating Causes are monitored against the safety design. This provides a valuable understanding of the actual demand versus the expected demand. The SFM traffic light system provides users an early warning sign when Initiating Causes have exceeded their expected design frequency.

Monitoring Overrides and Inhibits
SFM monitors SIF overrides, inhibits and their protection layers. This provides critical information in the understanding of SIFs having sufficient protection and are maintaining their designed SILs.

Safety Reports
In-built reports provide evidence of operational safety data, and supports the active monitoring of safety system performance. SFM provides dynamic reports for all information displayed on the web interface with the ability for users to select fields and drill into data as well as filtering and sorting by almost all fields being displayed.

Reports contain SIS information for the following areas:

  • SIF Activations
  • ILP Availability
  • Device Actuations
  • Overrides and Inhibits
  • Initiating Causes
  • SIF Masking

Reports can be exported to multiple formats (such as Excel, Word and PDF) and scheduled to be emailed at configurable periods.

SIF Reports image




Exaquantum/SER is a unified sequence of events recorder solution that provides a plantwide integrated view of alarms, events and associated process data.  It identfies, collects, and processes alarms, events and process data related to plant trips from systems throughout the plant (DCS, historians, PIMS, PLCs, process automataion controllers, SCADA systems, safety systems, etc.) and stores the created information in an open and portable database. It can be used to provide trip detection based upon specific plant conditions and provide a full log of all relevant process information in the crucial period before and after a plant event.  Exaquantum/SER's plantwide integrated view can be used for peformance analysis and in aiding investigation teams in performing root cause analysis and problem identification. This solution assists in the elimination or reduction in the number of unexpected incidents and trips while increasing availability and production.


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