An Alarm Philosophy (or Alarm Strategy) is a comprehensive guideline document that defines how alarms are handled for a plant. This includes:
The Alarm Philosophy covers everything that is needed to "do alarms properly" on a plant. Your company may have an Alarm Philosophy defined at a corporate-level that must be tailored to the requirements of a specific site.
We can help you to write your Alarm Philosophy, ensuring that it contains all pertinent information.
If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.
We can help with analysis and interpretation of data extracted from your alarm system.
Once the Philosophy and Benchmark exist, systems should be audited.
We can perform an audit for you, measuring your processes and systems against your philosophy and industry best practice.
Most plants will have a few alarms, or types of alarms, that are generating a very high proportion of the total alarm load.
We can help you analyse and diagnose problem alarms.
Alarm Rationalisation is a systematic review and documentation of alarms in the control system, with the objective of optimising quantity and quality.
We can help to optimise what can be a painful, tedious (and expensive!) process.
At the very least, procedures need to be in place to ensure that DCS alarm settings are only changed with proper authority and documentation. This may extend to automated systems checking DCS configuration on a regular basis for unauthorised changes.
We can help to define the procedures and advise on systems suitable for the enforcement and auditing of change management.
Once Bad Actors have been dealt with and a Rationalisation has been performed, more advanced techniques are required to optimise the alarm system performance. This may include shelving, suppression and state based alarming.
We can advise on suitable techniques applicable in your circumstances.
The Alarm System needs long-term monitoring to ensure new projects, decommissioned equipment and natural degradation do not erode the improvements that have been achieved.
We can assist with delivering appropriate and informative KPI reports that measure compliance with applicable standards.