How to successfully execute and maintain alarms in

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How to successfully implement and maintain alarm management in distributed control system

before the era of distributed control system (DCS), the alarm was hardwired to the fixed alarm panel installed on the wall of the control room. The panel consists of a discrete input and a red indicator light (connected by a wire) at the window

alarm creation has long required manual completion, because installers must drill holes in the panel and lay copper wires to activate the signal device. This method requires careful consideration of which events should be alarmed and the specific reasons

the introduction of DCs has changed the traditional alarm mode. Nowadays, alarms are integrated into distributed control system application software, so a new alarm can be created with relatively simple software changes

this will lead to an increase in meaningless or irrelevant alarms. Focusing on a large number of false alarms will make operators ignore new alarms and miss key alarms

since adding new alarms becomes very simple, it is more important than ever to implement effective alarm management procedures

it takes several months to design and deploy new equipment. Although 54% of the equipment can be produced in China, the operation time of the equipment will exceed 20 years. This means that in the design and implementation stage of the project, the operator is likely to need to adapt the deformation and elongation after fracture that directly affect the experiment to the decisions made by others for a long time

most of the additions, enhancements and transplants of the distributed control system are carried out as specific projects

however, alarm management is endless and requires your unremitting efforts. Therefore, a key to building a successful alarm management program is to realize that it is not only a project, but also a long-term process. Isa-18.2 standard points out that alarm management involves not only hardware or software, but also working process or alarm management cycle

to ensure the successful implementation of alarm management projects in PlantPAx DCS, exida, a partner of Rockwell Automation and certification compass, condensed the alarm management cycle into seven steps:

1. Benchmarking the performance of the alarm system. Quantify the average number of alarms/operators, and identify false alarms and "adverse factors"

2. Formulate the alarm concept. What constitutes the need for alarm? How to prioritize alarms

3. Rationalize the alarm. The purpose is to create the best possible alarm combination, so as to ensure the safety of the equipment and keep it within the normal operation range. At the same time, the necessity basis of each alarm must also be recorded

4. Advanced alarm design. Add logic to suppress the alarm when the equipment is not in use or after the equipment trips, and prevent the alarm from flooding

5. Implement rationalization results. Load the alarm configuration changes into the PlantPAx system and create alarm response steps to present to the operator on the HMI side

6. Performance monitoring and evaluation of these cases we have seen. Regularly review the performance of the alarm system to promote continuous improvement

7. Audit. Compare the PlantPAx alarm setting with the rationalized alarm setting, and confirm that the relevant processes and steps have been followed

unremitting efforts are needed to achieve proper alarm management. In the PlantPAx system, we have no reason to go to the alarm system with poor adaptability. The system software configuration is simple, and the Rockwell Automation Process object library integrates alarm configuration with general suppression technology, which can reduce engineering time and deployment workload

alarm management can be successfully implemented and maintained in a distributed control system in a few simple steps

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