TiPS’ LogMate Alarm Management Suite has transformed how the process controls industry manages alarms. With such features as a web browser-based viewer, KPI generator, event detection and notification engine, alarm analysis, and the Alarm KB (master alarm database), controls teams have gained insight into processes, increased operational efficiencies, and built safer systems.
As processes continually become more complex, highly managed, and operationally leaner, the LogMate suite also persistently evolves. TiPS’ Alarm Knowledge Base Import Utility is such a case in point.
Brief Background on AKBIU
AKBIU was developed as a utility to make updating a control system’s alarm configuration to LogMate’s Alarm KB much easier. Such a database is often required and used in alarm management rationalization and documentation for best practices. TiPS invested a lot of research and development time, but the utility was marketed and promoted as free for client use.
Client feedback, such as the need to support a growing list of control systems on the market or the need to have tighter integration with LogMate’s TiPSView, drove additional innovation with AKBIU. To continue with such key enhancements needed for a more complete product is what eventually led to the sunset of AKBIU and to the launch of KB Agent.
Moving to KB Agent
Building upon the foundation of AKBIU, KB Agent brings a novel approach to the Audit phase of the Alarm Management Life Cycle. With KB Agent’s many improvements and value-added features, TiPS’ focus is on simplifying alarm configuration changes and reducing the workload on the controls staff.
Here are some advantages of KB Agent over AKBIU:
- Increased Performance. KB Agent creates pending records in a fraction of the time and dramatically improves performance. While AKBIU could take several hours to run an import, KB Agent’s faster processing can increase data processing by 50%.
- Easy Management of Change. MOC is configurable for each attribute. Clients can also enable/disable it completely at any time from the review process, reducing potentially unnecessary MOC reviews. AKBIU doesn’t have this capability.
- Exclude Points Without Alarms. Ignore points in the control system without configured alarms with a simple setting change, thus not porting them into the Alarm KB. AKBIU is limited to only include all points.
- Exclude Disabled Alarms. KB Agent includes a setup option to only include configured or enabled alarms. Any non-configured alarms are ignored during the Alarm KB update, eliminating them from the periodic review. AKBIU will import disabled alarms.
- Account for New Alarm Attributes. KB Agent automatically adjusts its alarm configuration import by reading the Alarm KB database schema. In the future, as more alarm attributes are available from the control system, new alarm attribute fields can be added and imported to the KB database with an updated KB Agent application.
- Multi-Control Systems Support. One instance of KB Agent can be used to manage either a single control system or multiple control systems, even from multiple vendors. AKBIU is configurable to only one control system and has to be completely reconfigured to work with another control system.
- Control System Native Format Support. KB Agent imports data directly from most control systems’ alarm configuration files or databases, including many legacy control systems. In most cases, this process may be set up to run as a Microsoft Windows service, allowing for unattended Alarm KB updates to occur during off-hours without manual intervention.
Key Benefits of Migrating to KB Agent
- Integration with Existing MOC Process. Alarm attributes are individually selectable for the approval process, or automatically update attributes without MOC if that process already exists.
- Many Control Systems, One User Interface. KB Agent’s Configuration UI dynamically adjusts settings to match those of the selected control system to reduce the effort of manual configurations.
- Simple to Operate. KB Agent is a light installation and updates are simple, reducing maintenance concerns.
- Ongoing Development. TiPS is continuously updating and adding enhancements to KB Agent. For clients currently using AKBIU, TiPS’ primary recommendation is to transition to the fully qualified and QA-tested KB Agent.
If you are using AKBIU today, migrating to KB Agent makes a logical next step. KB Agent is a must-have tool from the LogMate product suite for audits and alarm management. Migrate to KB Agent to take advantage of the added features and a broader range of supported control systems. Contact TiPS to learn more.