Functional safety

Failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) for valve & actuator manufacturers

2-Day Training Course

Course description:

This unique course is intended for design engineers who need to perform Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) of valves, actuators or packages for their use in Safety Integrity Level (‘SIL’) applications.

The course starts with an overview of functional safety, the IEC 61508 and 61511 standards, and how they apply to valves and actuators.

Following the overview, the in-depth sessions cover what an FMEA is and how it is performed in practice, including the structure, sources and selection of component failure data, formulae used, benefits of diagnostics and proof testing, the parameters derived by FMEA and the assumptions that need to be stated. Failure mode categories are explained and how their FMEA-derived quantities are used in system modelling of real-world safety scenarios.

The theory is applied through exercises and case studies to ensure the learning has a strong practical element which builds the candidates confidence. Frequent Q&A sessions are included for clarification.
The course concludes with a brief overview of the UK regulatory framework and the various approaches used to demonstrate conformity to the standards.

A comprehensive training manual is provided for each attendee together with a certificate of attendance for personnel training records.

Target audience:

This course is aimed primarily at product design engineers. (See also our 1-day overview course on functional safety for valve and actuator manufacturers if FMEA training is not required).


Paul Reeve CEng FInstMC MIET is a Registered Functional Safety Engineer with the Institute of Measurement & Control and has been delivering FS courses to product manufacturers around the world for over 14 years.

Course Outline

Day One

1. Overview of functional safety
• Overview of safety instrumented systems and SIL
• Why product manufacturers should design for functional safety
2. Reliability and safety fundamentals
• Random and systematic failures
• Defining safe, dangerous & no-effect failures
• Safety architectures
• Systematic capability and the QMS (separate scope)
3. Failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA)
• Creating and structuring the FMEA
• Sources of component data and their selection
• Judging the effect of diagnostic coverage
• Exercises (x2, fail to close, fail to open)
• Quantifying failure rates of mechanical parts not in any data source
• FMEA derived parameters, assumptions and verification
• Case studies (x2)
4. Field failure data analysis
• Obtaining field failure data
• Analytical techniques (-square)
• Using field failure data to support/validate FMEA data
• Exercise

Day Two

5. Understanding FMEA data in certificates
• Review examples of certified data and statements
• IEC 61508 compliance routes (1H, 2H, 1S, 2S)
• Exercise
6. PFD calculations using FMEA data
• Using PFD equations from text books and IEC 61508-6
• Proof testing (including non-perfect test coverage)
• Partial valve stroke testing
• Exercise (1oo2 ESD subsystem: 2 x SOVs + actuator + ball valve)
7. Regulatory, standards and compliance
• Overview of IEC 61508 and IEC 61511
• Proven in use (61508) and Prior use (61511)
• The safety manual
• Demonstrating compliance