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Modern Operator Alarm Improvement and Rationalization (June 2020)


Operator alarms are there to allow the process and its control systems to tell the operator they have issues. But if messages are too late or often false, the operators will quickly learn to distrust them and depend instead on their own vigilance, which can lead to greater variability in process operation.

The single biggest cause of poor operator alarm performance is an inconsistent set of values of the alarm limits. But search for advice on how to find values for alarm limits and the answer will be “put them at the boundary of where you normally operate.” For the practising engineer this advice is next to useless because he or she doesn’t have a way to locate that boundary across many hundreds of variables.

The missing understanding has been that alarm limits are not independent of each other but are linked by an Operating Envelope or Operating Window spanning many hundreds or even thousands of variables from different databases, some with alarms defined and some without. Operating Envelopes are the missing link between process capability and operating objectives and so give new understanding to the fundamentals of alarm floods.

In this webinar from June 2020 we demonstrate our novel approach to alarm rationalization by locating the Operating Window and Envelope of any chosen set of objectives and setting alarm limits around its boundary. You will see the usefulness of being able to see and compare Windows and Envelopes for different operating objectives and the benefits of predicting alarm performance with immediate feedback instead of waiting weeks until after the new alarms have been implemented in the control room before you know if performance has been improved.  

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PPCL Webinar: Alarm Rationalization
14th and 15th October

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