Listen in: Operator alert extends alarm capabilities

Operators can set their own time- or process-based pre-alarms and reminders.
By Control Engineering Staff October 1, 2008

Once an alarm system has been thoroughly optimized through careful alarm management practices, companies don’t like to fiddle with it to implement temporary process-condition based alert messages. A new utility from PAS provides just this kind of capability. ( Hear comments from Ashley Dufrene, product manager for PAS . Allow a moment for the audio player to load.)

Consider the following scenarios:

  • Operations is filling a product tank that requires manually collecting several quality assurance samples over multiple shifts.

  • Meanwhile, the unit downstream is on reduced rates due to a mechanical issue and the board operator needs to know if the average flow becomes too high.

These situations and others like them merit alarms for operators, but are temporary and not worth opening up a locked-down alarm system to implement.

An operator alert system provides temporary messaging needed for task reminders and notifications of non-critical operating conditions. It can function as a supplement to a managed alarm system, eliminating the need to compromise permanent alarm settings with temporary operating limits.

EEMUA 191 guidelines and the ASM Consortium recommend operator alert functionality as a best practice. The new operator alert module for PlantState Suite V6.1 from PAS delivers the recommended functionality and improves operations effectiveness. The company says the system offers a group of key benefits:

  • Easy-to-use, Web-based interface enables users to create and manage alert messages quickly;

  • Alert messages help maintain low DCS alarm loading and can be easily hidden to reduce stress during major upsets;

  • The operator interface can be viewed from any PC-based console using an always-on-top notification window to ensure every alert message receives timely attention;

  • Avoids the time and costs of MOC reviews for changing DCS alarm settings by providing a separate system for non-critical messages;

  • E-mail notification for monitoring important operating performance metrics; and

  • Thin client application with no end-user native installation required, which minimizes resource requirements.

—Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com ,
Process & Advanced Control Monthly
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