Alarm management is all about the understanding, design, implementation, and operation of an effective alerting capability for production plant operators.
These alerts are intended to notify operators of situations and events that require operator attention in an explicit way within an acceptable time frame
These systems are traditionally comprised of equipment to measure plant conditions, other equipment to transfer those measurements to devices that are capable of interpreting the measurements, still other devices that employ these interpretations and other information to manipulate yet other process conditions in order to realize an appropriate plant operation, and finally equipment that permits operators and others to view all measurements and intervene as needed.
Being more pragmatic, alarm management is therefore the determination of
(a) All plant conditions that will be alarmed,
(b) The parametric setting for the activation of each alarm event,
(c) The classification of the importance of each alarm event,
(d) The collation and presentation of information that documents the best understanding of how to successfully manage the event.
- Reduced Maintenance Costs
- Lower Insurance Costs
- Capture Workforce Knowledge
- Shift Handover
The “Management” in Alarm Management
- Benchmark analysis of present alarm system performance, including its impact on production, safety, and environmental
- Development of a philosophy governing the operation of the enterprise sufficient to specify a design basis for the required alarm system and supporting plant infrastructure
- Selection of which variables to alarm between date and time.
- Setting of alarm limits
- Setting of alarm priorities
- Determination of recommended operator actions
- Design of advanced techniques to facilitate improved alarm performance
- Addition of plant condition monitors and decision support tools
- Incorporation of new alarm system design back into the plant infrastructure
- Continual audits, assessments, and modifications for improvement
Alarm Design Roadmap
Precept 1: Require action. Every alarm requires timely operator action, and that action must be a necessary one.
Precept 2: Provide enough time for success. Every alarm activation must occur in time to permit the operator to successfully remedy the situation, if that remedy is at all a reasonable outcome (given the realities of the situation).
Precept 3: Provide information. Adequate information must be provided to the operator to work the alarm.
Precept 4: Alarm only important things. Only alarm important conditions/situations