Best practice management of industrial process control alarm floods

Guy, Ross (2016) Best practice management of industrial process control alarm floods. [USQ Project]

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This report aims to determine recommendations for best practices in managing alarm floods in real time under all operating conditions, by identifying the underlying attributes and purpose of an alarm, including human factors impacting the alarm management system. Alarm floods are introduced in the context of process control systems. Three standards and two companies were investigated to assess control systems technology, alarm philosophy, alarm flood management techniques and alarm flood control.

Analysis methods have been developed using standard software to compare company alarm performance against industry standards EEMUA Publication 191, ISA 18.2 and IEC-62682. The investigations and alarm data analysed identified improvement areas in the alarm standards lifecycle stage ‘monitoring and assessment’. Analysis proved high frequency alarms corrupt data and performance measurements therefore require timely identification, repair, replacement and or removal. Alarm priority distribution analysis identified a tendency for alarms to be assigned high priority, averaging 5 to 6 times the standard percentage limit. Causing stress on operator’s to respond faster than a low priority alarm require. Analysing unspecified performance areas for time periods between alarm annunciation, acknowledgment and returning to normal, identified a potential 30% reduction in alarm rates through targeted suppression, certain alarms for tuning, repair or review and contributes to the assessment of alarm manageability and operator work rate.

Continuously assessing all alarm performance areas specified in the standards will identify areas necessary to improve alarm performance, inversely increase profits and reduce exposing companies and public to undue hazards and risk.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Major Instrumentation Control & Automation Engineering project
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Hills, Catherine
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2017 04:15
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2017 04:15
Uncontrolled Keywords: alarm flood control; best practices; control systems technology; alarm management system
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering > 090602 Control Systems, Robotics and Automation
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4007 Control engineering, mechatronics and robotics > 400799 Control engineering, mechatronics and robotics not elsewhere classified

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