ISA Expo 2004: Invensys announces alarm management services

Houston, TX—To minimize nuisance alarms and help process control system operators to respond more effectively to abnormal situations, Invensys Process Systems introduced its Alarm Management services for Foxboro's I/A Series automation system on the first day of ISA Expo 2004, Oct. 5-7, at the Reliant Center.


Houston, TX— To minimize nuisance alarms and help process control system operators to respond more effectively to abnormal situations, Invensys Process Systems introduced its Alarm Management services for Foxboro 's I/A Series automation system on the first day of ISA Expo 2004 , Oct. 5-7, at the Reliant Center. Invensys also can provide these same services for distributed control systems (DCSs) from many other vendors.

Invensys says its new services represent an important component in its expanding LifeTime Performance Improvement Services, which now also includes Loop Management and Network Security services. These services work together to help customers maximize performance of their installed distributed control systems and other automation assets.

Using alarm diagnostic software, Invensys’ process control specialists provide expert alarm rationalization, re-engineering, and ongoing support services to help today’s typically understaffed process plants achieve and maintain a high level of safety and regulatory compliance, without compromising either production or product quality.

Unlike most system vendor-provided services of this kind, Invensys adds that its new Alarm Management services aren't limited to one vendor’s system offering. This enables companies to establish, implement, and maintain consistent alarm management philosophies and policies across a multi-vendor process manufacturing plant, complex, or global manufacturing base.

“Ideally, a DCS alarm system will provide process control system operators with the correct alarms in the correct sequence to be able to respond effectively to problems before they have a negative impact on the process or the plant,” says David Gaertner, Invensys' director of alarm management services. “In this respect, the alarm system should represent a critical line of defense against potentially costly and/or destructive abnormal situations, providing clear notification and guidance as to the root cause of a problem and minimizing unnecessary nuisance alarms.

'Invensys can help users design, implement, and maintain alarm systems that do what they are supposed to do, regardless of the specific DCS platform. We’re confident that, in most plants, this service will pay for itself many times over through increased operator productivity, minimized process upsets, and avoided unit shutdowns.”

Using a three-phased approach, Invensys application engineers work closely with plant operators and engineers to identify, implement, and maintain alarm system improvements:

Phase 1 , Alarm system performance study and report

  • Generate a baseline report of alarm system performance;

  • Establish performance targets based on EEMUA (Engineering Equipment and Materials User Association) best practices; and

  • Recommend alarm system improvement methodology

Phase 2 , Alarm system performance improvement

  • Develop alarm system philosophy:

  • Perform alarm rationalization and implement alarm system changes;

  • Develop HMI philosophy per human factors engineering and design specification and implement HMI modifications; and

  • Issue final report documenting actual alarm system performance improvements

Phase 3 , Life cycle alarm maintenance

  • Invensys field service technicians maintain alarm system performance over time.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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