Process Automation & Control has assisted plant personnel at multiple facilities to implement alarm strategies to better improve overall plant performance. These strategies establish defined criteria for what an alarm is, prioritize alarms based on impact and severity, and determine required operator response time. In this process, alarms are analyzed for Relevancy, Uniqueness, Timeliness and Understandability. PAC acknowledges that alarm management is not necessarily a “project” but rather a process that should be adopted and maintained by a facility. With this understanding, PAC works with plant personnel to ensure that there is an established alarm philosophy or strategy that can be applied to both existing systems as well as future systems. In many cases, digital annunciator windows are also implemented to allow for graphical indication of the alarms that meet the highest priority. This allows for operators, as well as management, to quickly assess whether high priority alarms are currently activated.
As a result of these alarm strategy implementations, overall alarm quantities are often decreased by more than 60%. Priority distributions are also modified such that the highest priority alarms are often decreased by more than 75%. This reduction in alarms of the highest priority is vital in helping plant operations and management staff better respond to alarms of the highest criticality.
Recent Projects Include: