Safety is my top priority

Safety is my top priority

Mini-series profiling some of the people attending the Valve World Conference 2016. This week: Carsten Thoegersen, Emerson Automation Solutions

As anyone who has ever met him will know safety is a topic which is very close to Carsten’s heart. His presentations are not so much about selling products; rather he wants plant owners and operators to really think about what safety means and how it can be realised and safeguarded over the long term.

In his own words: “safety is considered the first priority for many operators, but based on the requests we see from the industry, it looks more like SIL rated final elements are being treated as a commodity. This is all fine but we must be aware of the pitfalls in handling the final element and we must ensure the required risk reduction is provided.”

He adds that the current market conditions are driving a need for cost optimized packages, “I’d say that most suppliers are getting aligned with this so we need to make sure we handle the interfaces and the split of responsibilities correctly, to ensure all safety issues are addressed and considered.”

Set against this background, it is hardly surprising to hear that Carsten’s presentation at the Valve World Conference is entitled: ‘SIL certified final elements? The challenges faced, providing only a part of the SIF’.  Says Carsten: “this presentation will be interesting for everyone who is dealing with SIL rated Final Elements or who is looking for ways to either improve safety on their installation or ensure they are getting the required safety for their existing operation.”

In addition to his role as a speaker, Carsten is of course also attending the conference to network and learn from others. “I find the safety side of our business very interesting and hope to broaden my horizon. The marketplace has unfortunately been confused during the past couple of years, and I hope to find innovations or initiatives that will drive good functional practice and provide safety to the operators, more than new ‘creative’ ways to calculate and improve numbers.“

The presentations that Carsten has ticked as ‘must attend’ on his copy of the Advance Conference Programme mirror this interest in safety. They include Henk Hinssen’s workshop on ‘SIS Valve Reliability Prediction’, as well as ‘Correct valve selection for ESD’ by Metso’s Ville Kähkönen. and ‘HIPPS integration according to the new IEC 61511’ by Thomas de Wolf from Frames.

To top off this busy schedule, Carsten will also be supporting his colleagues at the Emerson stand in the expo, such as demonstrating new solutions to run diagnostic on final elements. “I think that the testing of installed valves and actuators is the best way to provide operators with the required safety or comfort that their system will work when called upon,” he states. “Our new, simplified approach can be applied to all final elements, regardless of whether they are electric, hydraulic or pneumatically operated.”


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