Alarm Management

Minimize Plant Shutdowns, Improve Safety, and Meet ISA/ANSI 18.2 with a Proven Alarm Management Philosophy and PlantState Suite™ Software

NovaTech has partnered with operator effectiveness thought leader PAS to deploy and support their industry-leading Alarm Management methodology and software.

Discover how PAS and NovaTech can help you improve plant safety, efficiency, and operator effectiveness in compliance with the ISA 18.2 standard by watching our informative webinar series.

Webinar Series Topics

  • 18.2 Overview
  • First Steps to Alarm Management (Steps 1 -3)
  • D&R and Audit & Enforce (Steps 4 & 5)
  • Real Time Alarm Management / System Control & Maintenance (Steps 6 &7)
  • Control Loop Performance Monitoring (Analysis & Performance Optimization)
  • Alarm management from the D/3 Operator Perspective

Empower the Operator

Industry incident investigations have shown that time is the most critical factor in a console operator’s ability to deal with abnormal situations. They must often be able to take action within seconds to safely mitigate the impact of an upset. Poorly designed and maintained alarm systems can overwhelm the operator with alarm floods and hinder their ability to effectively manage plant upsets.

Effective Alarm Management means providing plant operators with the right information at the right time to reverse an escalating problem. Unfortunately, many Alarming strategies are poorly designed and inconsistently maintained, and operators may be overwhelmed with a flood of nuisance and irrelevant alarms when situational awareness and speed of response are critical.

Platform Independent Implementation

Once an Alarm Management Philosophy is developed by plant personnel and NovaTech facilitators, the resulting methodology can be deployed in any control system environment, including ABB, Emerson, GE, Honeywell, HMI/PLCs, Invensys, NovaTech D/3, Rockwell, Siemens, or Yokogawa.

Seven Step Alarm Methodology

Based on their extensive experience in Implementing alarm management best practices, PAS has developed the industry’s most rigorous alarm management methodology. The seven steps are:

1. Develop Alarm Philosophy This comprehensive document, developed through a rigorous process customized to each plant, defines best practices for alarm design, implementation, and maintenance.

2. Data Collection and BenchmarkingThe benchmark process incorporates PAS and EEMUA best practices, provides a base line for continuous improvement, and identifies “Bad Actor” alarms.

PlantState Suite KPI metrics show trends in rate and classification of alarms

3. “Bad Actor” Alarm Resolution By reconfiguring the most frequent, irrelevant, and chattering alarms, alarm load is typically reduced by 60%. This gains support among operators for subsequent maintenance and improvements.

4. Alarm Documentation and Rationalization Guided by the Alarm Philosophy and working with a NovaTech facilitator, all plant stakeholders – board operators, process and control engineers, health and safety representatives, environmental compliance personnel, production and maintenance engineers – assess the validity, priority, causes and consequences of alarms.

5. Alarm System Audit and EnforcementAfter completing the rationalization process, the ongoing Audit and Enforcement helps to avoid “alarm creep” and protect efficiency gains.

6. Real-Time Alarm ManagementThe next level of alarm management allows for dynamic adjustment to different stages of plant operation such as startup and shutdown, feed and product changes, and equipment maintenance. Techniques include state-based alarms, alarm flood suppression, and alarm shelving.

7. Control and Maintain Performance With established metrics and infrastructure for optimal alarming in place, plant managers can maintain performance goals at the console, unit, site and enterprise levels.

PlantState Suite Software

PlantState Suite Alarm Frequency Screens visualize the volume and rate of operator alarms by area of responsibility

PlantState Suite (PSS) Alarm Management Software is a comprehensive alarm management and operations support software suite that facilitates event analysis, documentation and rationalization, auditing and enforcement, and dynamic alarm management to optimize any alarm system. Together with professional analysis and facilitation services provided by NovaTech, PSS ensures that operators are presented with only the most important alarms requiring intervention and can take appropriate action before an upset or accident occurs. Functions and Features include:

Alarm & Event Analysis

Categorize Nuisance and Problematic Alarms with:

  • Real-Time Alarm Scanner
  • Process and Event Explorer
  • Alarm and Event Journal

Documentation & Rationalization

  • Single and Multi-State Alarm
  • Objective Analysis with Equipment Grouping

Alarm Audit & Enforce

  • Master Alarm Database
  • Auditing and Enforcement, MOC
  • Event-Triggered Audit Dynamic Alarming
  • Alarm Shelving
  • State Handling
  • Flood Suppression Alert Director Configurable Operator Decision Support System

Loop Maintenance

PlantState Suite Control Loop performance is analyzed and arrayed by size and color for fast diagnosis and continuous improvement.

Related to Alarm Management functionality, PSS Control Essentials Software provide improved control loop performance. It performs an assessment of the plant’s control loops, which users can view in both tabular and graphical format. Users may drill down to details on individual loop performance, including time trends, statistical analyses, time-series analyses, and correlation analyses. Additionally, they may isolate loops that lack adequate disturbance rejection capability.