Where Should Alarm Configurations Be Managed: Remote Device or SCADA Host?

There are many challenges with successfully implementing an effective program of pipeline alarm management. Even after you get everyone on the same page with definition and alarm philosophy, you still need to consider where and how to manage alarm configuration. There tends to be two schools of thought.

Option 1, manage the alarm in the PLC. The problem with this is that frequently too many people have access, and change is more difficult to control.

Option 2, manage the alarm configuration in the SCADA host. This allows for control of the alarm configuration but can cause challenges with keeping the alarm configuration in the SCADA host in synch with the field device configuration.

Here is a third idea: your alarm management tool should be the repository for the rationalized and approved alarm configuration. Further, the alarm management tool should provide the ability to query both the field device and the SCADA host to compare the alarm configuration in place to the approved configuration in the alarm management tool. What say you?