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Digital PHA

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Safer processes with less effort

A Digital Process Hazard Analysis (DPHA) takes advantage of new digital technologies to transform traditional PHAs and manage human resources wisely. The results are faster and more consistent and precise, leveraging human brain power where it’s most beneficial.

A digital process hazard analysis provides an efficient path to safety

The family of methodologies classified as Process Hazard Analyses (HAZOP, LOPA, etc.) have undergone few changes over the last sixty years—until now. Our new Digital PHA leverages process modeling to simulate scenarios and a DEKRA-designed artificial intelligence solution to carry out the analysis in tandem with our experts and clients.

Part of the DEKRA Safety Platform, our Digital PHA optimizes the use of human resources during risk analysis, using computing power whenever possible. For example, brainstorming sessions, the most resource-intensive phase of the PHA process, can be shortened considerably with computer assistance. With this solution, we obtain a more accurate and robust insight of each process together with its hazards, risks and safeguards.

Your Benefits

  • Greater precision and consistency, with quantitative results and improved foresight
  • Optimized use of resources for efficiency and cost reduction
  • Time savings of approximately 70%

Our approach

The DEKRA Digital PHA (Process Hazard Analysis) incorporates computer process modeling and our own artificial intelligence solution in the DEKRA Safety Platform to enhance and refine the traditional process. We deploy digital support to reduce the time investment where possible. The steps are:

  • Preparation: DEKRA experts work with the client to gather necessary information and define relevant scenarios.
  • Simulation: Thanks to process modeling and computational support, the Digital PHA entrusts the calculation of causes, consequences and safeguard identification to a computer simulation, which operates much more quickly and precisely than human brainstorming.
  • Review of results: Once the computer generates its suggestions, humans can review the results, make recommendations and consider additional safeguards or focus on problem solving.

These three steps are repeated for all of the scenarios identified for analysis. The Digital PHA concludes with a written report detailing the results.

DEKRA’s Digital Process Hazard Analysis

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Applicability map for digital PHAs

In short, always. However, since the digital PHA is one of many tools in the PHA toolkit, we might use the following questions as a guide for deciding when a digital hazard analysis is most useful:

  • How difficult is it to build a model for the plant and its processes?
  • How much and what kind of information do you expect from your PHA? In other words, how much bang do you require for your buck?

The chart shows an applicability map for digital PHAs, conventional PHAs and other solutions.

A DEKRA Process Safety expert can advise you on the optimal tool to use for specific plants and processes.

Based on our experience, the client can expect a time savings of 70% for a medium-sized project (one week of HAZOP, approximately). Savings can be greater for larger plants and projects.

Currently, reports are delivered as a document (printed or pdf), just as a conventional PHA. However, DEKRA is at work on new projects to provide clients with a more interactive and user-friendly interface, aimed at transforming the digital PHA into an agile tool for decision making.

Yes, a model of the process is always required, because digital PHAs rely on the model to simulate the actual plant and process.

The model is built using the specialized software Mobatec Modeler. Mobatec Modeler provides both a bottom-up systems approach and an ample catalogue of ready-built models for the most common pieces of equipment (pumps, vessels, compressors, reactors, etc.). A modeler (typically a chemical engineer) creates the model of the plant based on these building blocks and on the information provided by the client, such as P&IDs, equipment data sheets, material safety data sheets, and so on.

Mobatec Modeler is based on first-principle equations (i.e. mathematical equations that implement fundamental conservation laws like mass or energy balances). Therefore, there are no empirical models that we need to calibrate. The model also includes geometry relations, and a thermodynamics package based on widely-accepted sources. If the plant already exists—that is, it is not merely a blueprint or under construction—we can do some additional fine-tuning to ensure that the model depicts reality as closely as desired.

Why DEKRA?

  • We are experienced process safety specialists with special expertise in process hazard analysis methodologies.
  • We have a proven track record of success with leading industrial organizations around the world.
  • We specialize in digital solutions for process hazard analyses that enhance precision and save resources for our clients.

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