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Lifecycle Stage: Rationalization

The Alarm KB is the tool for your rationalization efforts

Alarm rationalization is the process of reviewing, validating and justifying alarms that meet the criteria of the Alarm Philosophy Document (APD).  Rationalization consists of several components. First is the reconciliation of the need for an alarm or alarm system change with the Alarm Philosophy Document. Next, rationalization also applies and documents the requirements for an alarm, as well as the associated reasoning such as the basis for the alarm setpoint, and the prioritization and the corrective action to be taken in response to the alarm. Finally, the rationalization is documented in a master alarm database that is maintained throughout the alarm system lifecycle.

The two common rationalization approaches according to Dr. Doug Rothenberg in his book Alarm Management for Process Control are:

  1. Start from where you are (the existing configuration).
  2. Start from zero.

Starting from where you are means evaluating the currently configured alarms for necessity, priority, setting and other key parameters as well as discussing and adding any new alarms identified. The starting from zero approach means that an alarm rationalization is begun with a blank sheet of paper and the alarms are developed by rationalizing the facility node by node to identify necessary alarms.

TiPS offers a combination of products and services to address and support alarm rationalization. Our alarm rationalization services include:

  • Alarm rationalization workshops – TiPS guides you through the alarm rationalization process and gets you started with your alarm rationalization.
  • Alarm rationalization consultation – TiPS can consult with you periodically as you go through the alarm rationalization process to confirm your approach aligns with best practices. We will work with you to initially get you started by leading you through the steps of the process. We can then help answer questions and provide periodic reviews to ensure that your alarm rationalization is following best practices.

Our alarm rationalization tools consist of a master alarm database, Alarm Knowledge Base (KB) within the Alarm Configuration Expert (ACE) product. This master alarm database is a centralized database for the documentation and on-going management of rationalization background associated with each alarm.