Why Choose TiPS?

LogMate is the most reliable, proven software solution since 1990

    • Leadership Participation in Alarm Standards Committees
    • Dedicated Alarm Management Focus
    • Comprehensive Alarm Management Software Solutions
    • Adaptable Services Model
    • Flexible and Extensive Software Connectivity Portfolio
    • Broad Industry Experience

Introduction to Alarm Management

So please listen to me and fix your alarms

Advanced process control (APC) is a time tested and commonly used approach to more consistent product quality and reduced costs. Industry reports routinely recognize APC as an important enabling component for many facilities. A lot of my work involves the implementation of APC. So, what would prevent operators from using APC?Quote #1

One of my first experiences in trying to persuade operators to use an advanced control application was in an “interesting” control room. The operators creatively addressed the problem of chronically blinking red and yellow alarm indicator lights by covering them with black electrical tape. They did not trust what the system was telling them because of nuisance alarms. They did not want to be bothered with more information in the form of an advanced process control application. The integrity of the entire alarm system was compromised. Alarms that would indicate that an advanced control was in suspended mode, unable to move a manipulated variable, shedding to local control, or any other critical condition would likely be ignored. Failure to do the fundamental task of reviewing and properly implementing the alarm design led to general distrust of the control system and subsequently, distrust of any advanced process control application. I was guilty by association. Without acceptance by the operator, the advanced process control application would not be enabled and the financial benefits would not be realized.

It is far too easy to just throw up your hands and ignore the situation, but where does that get you? You can continue to haphazardly patch up the situation, but Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes. Treating the symptoms does not heal the problem.APC band-aid

The underlying objective for securing the services of an APC consultant and implementing an APC solution is to realize a financial benefit. APC installations have provided these financial benefits while maintaining stable and reliable processes time and time again.

Site personnel who are having trouble overcoming the doubts about APC, supervisors, and those who will use an APC solution might want to consider the following:

Quote #2

Truth #1 – If you are not optimizing your process using APC you are likely leaving money on the table. APC is proven to deliver quality stability, throughput increase, uptime improvement, manpower efficiency, and other operational benefits. Actively researching and advocating for performance improvements is a core competency for production and operations professionals.

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APC duct tapeTruth #2 – A house built on a shaky foundation can collapse – advanced controls on top of a shaky control system can be dangerous – a control system with alarms that are not trusted will not be run at optimum capacity. Alarms are a critical layer of protection and therefore, a critical part of the foundation; they cannot be ignored. You know the importance of maintaining the tuning of your PID loops. You understand the importance of maintaining instrumentation and final control elements. You monitor the performance of control devices and communication networks to make sure they are not overloaded and can handle the processing demands. These form the foundation upon which advanced controls can be built.

Truth #3 – True passion for optimization and a properly configured alarm system will be found in the office of the engineer who is not only a good steward of shareholder investment, but also a stalwart proponent for the safety of coworkers and communities surrounding the facilities they manage.APC keep calm

Take care of the automation fundamentals and get ready for APC. APC will make you money. Let’s save the electrical tape for proper uses like securing the battery cover of the Television Remote.

 

 

 

If you would like to discuss your alarm situation and your plans for APC, click here to schedule a teleconference with an APC Subject Matter Expert.

 

Pat Dixon- President- DPAS, Inc. www.DPAS-INC.com

David P. Garcia, TiPS Inc.

Kelsey R. Wright, TiPS Inc.