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TiPS Incorporated has been setting the standard in Alarm Management since introducing LogMate®, the first full-featured, commercially available alarm management software in 1990. We are known as The Alarm Management Software Company because alarm management is not just one of the things we do, it is what we do! With over 20 years of history, TiPS continues to deliver best-in-class process alarm management products and services worldwide.
TiPS was founded in 1988 as an automation consulting firm specializing in wet chemical manufacturing facilities. Over the years, customer needs and suggestions prompted the creation and refinement of our software products. These products received such acclaim and demand that TiPS adjusted our focus to the development and distribution of user-friendly, low lifecycle costs software tools for the entire process industry. Complementary consulting services that support the alarm management lifecycle also remain a key TiPS business component, and keep us in touch with our most vital asset – our customers.
TiPS views alarm management as a critical component of successful process operations. Our’ goal is to provide our clients with operational insight and optimized performance by establishing and maintaining effective alarm management programs. Our LogMate software suite provides proven, reliable and effective tools to help our customers efficiently accomplish this goal. We pride ourselves on taking the time to understand each customer’s individual needs and identifying how our comprehensive alarm management solutions can best solve their unique challenges.
Our flexible approach and willingness to meet customers where they have their greatest alarm management needs has given us a strong reputation as alarm management leaders. Simply stated, People like us™. Our customers have responded by consistently identifying TiPS as a leading alarm management software company in ControlGlobal’s Control Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards.
The first step in our process is to understand your specific goals regarding alarm management. We are familiar with alarm management standards such as ANSI/ISA-18.2, EEMUA 191 and numerous other alarm and industry specific standards. We often help clients understand the applicable standards and how to best apply software and service solutions to follow these.
As a member of the ANSI/ISA-18.2 standards committee, TiPS believes that the ANSI/ISA-18.2 alarm management lifecycle model provides a comprehensive approach to alarm management. As a result, we often use this lifecycle model as our reference guide for execution of alarm management projects. A representation of the lifecycle model is shown below:
There are ten steps to this model:
4. Detailed Design
8. Monitoring and Assessment
9. Management of Change
For new facilities and in many cases for existing facilities the beginning point is the alarm philosophy. If an alarm philosophy already exists then a gap analysis to determine the delta between the actual alarm strategy in practice and the alarm philosophy can be a practical starting point that also quickly provides an indication of the magnitude of the alarm management problem.
Rationalization requires a significant effort and is probably the most daunting task in the alarm management lifecycle. A key consideration for our customers is how much of the effort they are not only willing, but more importantly able to take on in-house versus using subject matter experts. There are many decision factors on how to best execute rationalization such as the availability of organization resources, technical understanding of alarm management, and the project costs.
A good alarm management software package like LogMate that facilitates identification of alarm issues, rationalization, monitoring and assessment, and management of change (MOC) is a critical component in alarm management success. The software should be flexible with connectivity to whatever control system or combination of control systems the user has in place. This integration should not be a time-consuming part of the process because it shifts focus away from the real priority which is the alarms. The alarm management solution should be straightforward and provide quick access to and easy configuration of analysis reports.
Management of change is a complex challenge because it generally uses a combination of software and business processes to track, review and approve changes that impact the alarms. Companies can often spend money on some of the upfront activities and software only to struggle with effectively handling management of change. MOC is a particular challenge because it requires an ongoing organizational resource commitment to capture proposed changes, evaluate against the established alarm management strategy and approve or reject the changes using a documented process.
Other activities such as operation, maintenance and auditing are all part of the on-going lifecycle and there importance should not be minimized as drop-offs in these areas over time can undermine the work done in the other areas of the lifecycle.
At TiPS, we have optimized our LogMate software suite and comprehensive alarm management service offering with the complete ANSI/ISA-18.2 alarm management lifecycle model in mind.