Emerson Alarm Management Program

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 @ 11:05 AM gHale

Emerson released DeltaV Analyze V2.0 software to help process automation operators manage alarm system performance.

In addition, Emerson inked an alliance pact with automation safety certification and consulting firm exida whose alarm rationalization software can optimize Emerson’s DeltaV process automation system alarms.

“After just six weeks using Emerson’s DeltaV Analyze software we had identified and eliminated nuisance alarms for an overall 40% reduction in alarms seen by our operators,” said Steve Elwart, systems engineering director for Ergon Refining and an early user of the software.

Nuisance alarms are a common problem in industrial plants since the application of digital computers to process control in the 1980’s. The ease with which a user can implement alarms has led to overload, alarm floods, and incorrectly prioritized alarms, all of which diminish control room operators’ effectiveness.

“New industry standards that define good alarm management engineering practice combined with heightened scrutiny by safety, health and environmental regulatory agencies and the insurance industry are making plant managers take notice,” said Emerson’s Kim Van Camp, making reference to ANSI/ISA18.2-2009 Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries and the forthcoming complimentary IEC standard, IEC 62682.

Emerson’s DeltaV Analyze V2.0 software provides out-of-the-box reports that measure alarm system performance as prescribed by the new standards, such as peak and average incoming alarm rate and priority distribution. Reports contain “top 20” lists of nuisance alarms of various types, such as the sources of the most frequent occurring alarms and those that remain active for the longest time.

Emerson’s alliance with exida leverages exida’s SILAlarm alarm rationalization software to optimize the DeltaV system’s alarm performance.

“Alarm rationalization is one of the key activities in ISA-18.2’s alarm management lifecycle and is critical to create a sustainable and effective alarm management program,” said exida’s Todd Stauffer, director of Alarm Management services. “SILAlarm delivers benefits to operations that previously would have considered rationalization too burdensome and expensive. The results include reduced alarm load on the operator, no more nuisance alarms and improved operator response.”

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