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DCS Alarm Management

Engineering Equipment and Materials Users Association
  • No plant-wide alarm philosophy
  • Inadequate operator training
  • Poorly designed operating displays
  • Inadequate attention paid to plant practices and procedures
  • Alarm limits specified at design and rarely revisited for validity during actual plant operating conditions
  • DCS alarm system configuration contributes to over alarming
    • Because it seems to cost nothing, why not add an alarm?
  • Alarms constantly added and rarely deleted
    • HAZOP's, small capital projects, known problem avoidance, etc., etc.
  • Alarm activations occur without operator action.
  • No plant-wide philosophy for the alarm system.
  • No clear guidelines for when to add an alarm and how to do it.
  • No practices for removing existing alarms.
  • Operating procedures not tied to alarm activations.
  • When alarms activate, the operator is not always sure what to do about them.
  • Routine operations produce a large number of alarm activations that serve no useful purpose.
  • When nothing is wrong, there are active alarms.
  • Some alarms remain active for long periods of time.
  • Minor operating upsets produce a significant number of alarm activations.
  • Significant operating upsets, produce an unmanageable number of alarm activations.
  • We will help you develop
    a sitewide alarm philosophy
  • We provide tools to capture
    alarm data
  • We do alarm assessment analyses of archive data
  • We reduce the number
    of alarms and assign
    proper priority and trip point