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Implementation continues with the alarm management plan and the rationalization of safety alarms. This is where SCADA Alarm Management Software comes in, to simplify the process.  The objective of the alarm management process is to ensure permission to operate by avoiding controller alarm flood, or overload, and providing the controller the opportunity to clearly see the alarm, understand the reason for the alarm and potential ramifications, decide what action to take, and only then to act on the alarm. POEMS incorporates a dedicated alarm screen in the IOC and individual alarm response sheets to further improve the controller’s ability to provide a timely response to safety alarms.

The alarm management process cannot begin without establishing an alarm philosophy document. EnerSys conducts a 2-day workshop to establish the company’s alarm management philosophy and get all employees “on the same page” regarding the alarm philosophy. The workshop is based on works of alarm management expert Dr. Doug Rothenberg, author of Alarm Management for Process Control. The output of the workshop is an alarm philosophy document exceeding 100 pages. The alarm philosophy focuses on compliance and best practices according to API 1167 and should always be readily available in the control room.

The facts and philosophy about the importance of  SCADA Alarm Management Software Technology in simplifying the alarming process

The alarm philosophy will serve as the basis for the detailed alarm rationalization. For a typical pipeline system, rationalization of alarms will yield the following results:

Alarms reclassified as alerts 80%
Remaining safety alarms 20%

Safety alarms are further classified by priority. Suggested percentage of total safety alarms by priority are as follows:

Critical (the highest) <1%
High 5%
Medium 15%
Low (the lowest) 80%

During alarm rationalization, an alarm response sheet is created for each operating alarm to provide the controller with a list of actions that he should take in response to each alarm. It clearly shows cause for the alarm, confirmatory action, consequences of not acting, automatic action, manual action, and safety-related requirements.

To operate with excellence, it is very important that alarms are always displayed on their own screen. In the IOC implementation, the alarm screen is always visible with the alarm response sheet displayed on a separate screen between the alarm and alert banners.