For those of you that surf the web to learn more about Alarm Management, I want to add a couple of postings in the next few weeks to your repertoire of readings… and maybe bust a few myths in the process.
Myth #1: Alarm Management is all about counting alarms
This myth sounds good because it is quick and easy
1) Plug in any alarm counting software package
2) Collect some data
3) Print the reports
The general thinking behind this myth is that once you’ve identified the problem, you’re pretty much done!
Sadly, there are people out there who just want you to believe that if you could just count your alarms, things will get better…
I guess they assume that if their software points out the problem, you would of course take action to solve it.
That’s like saying an overweight person would get thin if only they knew their weight.
It doesn’t work that way.
Plant operators and engineers already have way too much on their plate.
Sure, they may take some action and bring down the count - just like an overweight person goes on a diet and drops a few pounds.
But without correcting the situation and keeping it there, the pounds come right back after the diet stops.
There is a solution.
And lots of customers are finding it.
At PAS, we have a number of customers who have switched from someone else’s Alarm Counting software to the real thing – an Alarm Management software + service solution that corrects the underlying problems and then acts to keep those problems from recurring.
Counting alarms with printer port software was not enough for them.
Neither was the fancy analysis.
They tried the diet.
And it didn’t work.
No surprise, right?
These customers now understand that higher plant reliability (and profitability!) comes from a complete Alarm Management solution comprising all of the following:
>> An Alarm Management Philosophy that matches the needs of their plant
>> Documentation & Rationalization of existing alarms to highlight the real issues in any plant upset and not just ring a flood of alarm bells
>> Alarm Management Software that not only counts & analyzes alarm activity, but also interacts with the process control system in real-time to obtain and maintain alarm loading goals
If all of this sounds like hard work, it’s because it is!!!
But the benefits are there - increasing plant reliability and safety by more pro-actively alerting operators to process upsets BEFORE going off-spec, off-grade or shutting down.
A saying from my high school days have stuck with me ever since - Caveat Emptor.
It’s true that you get what you pay for – those Romans were right with their advice!
Want to learn more?
© Copyright PAS 2007. No part of this blog is to be copied in full or in part without the express written permission of PAS; but references and web links are more than OK!