Reduce noise and add intelligence
Simplifying Alarm Management within Manufacturing
Many companies with large manufacturing lines will recognise the situation of having thousands of alarms colouring the displays red at the control stations every day. This situation is in part due to the increase of automation where all equipment alarms over time have been integrated into one Alarm Management system. The challenge with the increasing number of alarms during a plant upset or breakdown, known as ‘Alarm flooding’, is that it becomes more difficult to distinguish the critical alarms and maintain an overview of events.
A poor functioning Alarm Management System is often a contributing factor to incidents and major accidents.
Historically, it requires a great deal of time and resources to change this situation due to the in-depth specialist knowledge needed to be able to make safe, qualified and documented changes. In addition, quantifying a business case for this area is notoriously difficult due to the lack of visibility of the operator load and the inability to predict if the operator could increase plant performance after an alarm rationalisation process is complete. Despite these factors, it is commonly agreed that there is a good business case for increasing throughput and decreasing maintenance costs.
A way forward
By taking advantage of new technology, it is possible to implement solutions that fully integrate into existing Alarm Management Systems and as a first step support a reduction of ‘noisy’ alarms. The crucial part is to add intelligence that can provide Operators and Maintenance with the knowledge to help prioritise critical alarms.
We propose an optimised approach that builds on the following principles:
- Implement in short, fast iterations that provide results in the first weeks.
- Prioritise solutions that enable close cooperation between Operators and Maintenance.
- Base solutions on specific requirements from Operators and Maintenance.
- Target quick and easy navigation coupled with clear prioritisation of the alarms.
- Provide a clear framework.
- Involve existing partners.
At the core of this approach is a focus on alarm efficiency and intelligence with an aim to make the daily work of Operators and Maintenance teams simpler.
To achieve this, solutions are built on:
- ISA 18.2, EEMUA 191 and IEC 62682 standards.
- Standard building blocks.
- Safe and continuous extraction of data.
- Data analysis and pattern recognition.
- Overviews that target root cause analysis.
In short, by integrating OT and IT technologies, solutions enable Operators and Maintenance not only to prioritise alarms but also to get data-based insight into the alarm patterns of the equipment.
Modern production systems combined with fast processes, require sharp responses and good judgement. With the complexity of the systems increasing, the operational control needs to be enhanced.
Why Alarm Management?
A well-functioning alarm system helps processes run efficiently, reduces production costs, and increases throughput and quality. As automation increases, thousands of alarms from different production lines are being integrated into one alarm system.
ProjectBinder simplifies alarm management. Reducing the number of unnecessary alarms through a set of simple functionalities in existing control systems helps eliminate unplanned downtime and increases safety. High priority alarms are extensively reduced, while Operators and Maintenance get intelligent insight into why alarms occur and where the priority should be placed.
Reduce unplanned downtime
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