Alarm Management Lifecycle Solutions
Control room operator roles have changed dramatically over the years. The advent of new types of automation technology with more control loops and higher process complexity has increased demand on the operator’s attention. Basic Process Control Systems (BPCS) allow the operator a more detailed interface with the plant facility. However, since the interface graphics are often poorly designed, alarms are commonly used as a way to poke the operator and call his attention to something that he or she has missed making it difficult to interpret and act upon plant operating scenarios. The BPCS also provides the ability to configure more alarm types with essentially no added cost. The disadvantage is that alarm configurations may easily be implemented with little thought given to operator response, much less how the operator determines the root cause. As a result, operations may now have to deal with whether a displayed alarm is valid and useful to the operator. Additionally, the new alarm set points may not allow time for the operator to respond or may just become a nuisance that the operator has to filter out during day to day normal operations. Now the perceived low added cost of adding alarms begins to become more inflated due to reduced productivity for the control room operator. Fortunately there are services that help operations leaders deal with alarm management.
aeSolutions is a leading provider of process safety services to the Alaskan oil and gas industry with distinctive experience and expertise in alarm rationalization in accordance with ANSI/ISA – 18.2.
aeSolutions delivers expertise for ANSI/ISA – 18.2 Alarm Management Lifecycle areas including:
- Alarm Philosophy definition and implementation
- Identification of potential alarms
- Rationalization and Documentation of existing and new alarms
- Detailed Design –Basic, HMI, and Advanced Alarming Techniques
- Implementation of Master Alarm Data Base (MADB)
- alarm management program audits
- Training on Alarm Management Concepts
- Alarm Philosophy and Alarm Management Consultation
- Pre work consisting of data retrieval and research.
- Pre population of the rationalization data base with relevant alarm data and attributes.
- Facilitator and Scribe for Documentation and Rationalization (D/R) meetings
- On conclusion of the D/R meetings aeSolutions will develop a draft Resolution report containing Alarm rationalization metrics (Number of alarms rationalized, priority distribution, change in number of alarms, alerts etc). These draft reports will be issued to the client for comment. On receipt of client comments aeSolutions will develop and issue the final Alarm Management and Resolution report.
Benefits of Alarm Rationalization
- Ensures that each alarm is meaningful and actionable
- Meets the criteria set forth in the alarm philosophy
- Correct prioritization
- Proper activation point of logical condition
- Proper documentation
- In addition, all necessary detailed design information will be captured; including any advanced alarming requirements.
- Best practices on alarm response operations are captured
- The best operator’s skill becomes available to all
- Reduces Alarm Load on the Operator
- Less Stress on the Health of the Operator
- Reduces Incidents by providing timely operator advisory information during alarm events.
- Avoiding unplanned plant upsets and events which can lead to plant outages and improves a plant’s reliability
- Reduced Cost
- Lower Insurance Premium Potential
- Lower Maintenance Costs