Process control management is a challenge for businesses whose production operations are dispersed geographically, such as oil and gas or renewable energy segments. The sites of extraction, storage and distribution could be many hundreds, even thousands, of miles away from management offices, and staffing remote locations are inefficient and expensive. Response times to production problems are also traditionally slow when time is of the essence.
Indeed, the massive expansion of oil and natural gas production in widely dispersed geographies is a great example. With limitations on travel such as with COVID-19 and a shortage of skilled technical labor, advanced telemetry and robust remote process monitoring and control have become more critical than ever in 2021.
The introduction of SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) years ago allowed remote monitoring and process control management of such locations at a lower cost. Initially, telemetry (the collection of data from multiple sources and sites and the transmission to other locations) was slow, but modern advances in the field, like cloud-based processing and data storage, have made effective remote monitoring and management of sites achievable.
Enter Geo SCADA
Capitalizing on the advances mentioned above, the Geo SCADA platform (formerly ClearSCADA) was introduced for remote process and monitoring controls. Among its key features are:
- Flexibility, open architecture and browser independence – Easily connect with other IT platforms.
- Scalability – Install what operators need now with the confidence of ready expansion.
- Reliability – The platform has redundant servers and other safety and security features.
- Superior functionality – Use high-performance graphics, geographical displays, historian analytics and intelligent alarms to convert alarms into usable information.
- Alarm management capabilities – Take advantage of automated notification.
- Vastly improved telemetry – It utilizes modern data transmission speeds and capacities.
In short, these current technologies provide cost-effective, efficient and timely management of remote production sites. Moreover, alarm management is a key part of Geo SCADA, especially when used with TiPS LogMate’s suite of products to leverage its features to get to a world-class level of alarm management. This article will briefly explain how to do that.
Alarm management in Geo SCADA
Alarm setup is simple in this platform. Using the ViewX application, a user with the correct permissions can use a point and click template to configure alarms. Generally, normal operating ranges and conditions are entered, and specific deviations from those ranges or conditions are defined as alarms and sent to designated operators. Along with the definition of an alarm, the required response is specified.
Notably, the platform features an SQL-compliant event journal for easy integration with third-party systems like LogMate.
The two platforms together
Operators under stress can be flooded by alarms from many places, with confusing response instructions to follow. For the best alarm management, operators need all alarms in one place, and they need to be accurate, necessary and have clear instructions for response. Thus, it is crucial to perform periodic alarm rationalization, and ensure clearly documented response instructions are in one place, the master alarm database.
The Geo SCADA platform is a powerful process monitoring and control system. It is important that operators have access to this data, but equally important is the ability to distribute alarm and event data to other teams such as safety or environment groups, or other personnel with relevant functions that need to see and react in a preset, specific way to situations.
TiPS LogMate® provides the solution with a robust, comprehensive alarm management suite. Its Capture module in particular easily imports the alarm and event feed from Geo SCADA to build a single alarm database and make information accessible to other groups.
Here’s how it works:
- Capture uses the native OLEDB driver to import alarm and event data.
- Capture queries data tables for alarm and event fields. It is capable of extracting alarm configuration from custom point tables as well as standard digital and analog tables.
- It organizes and easily maps journal fields into database records.
- The size of journals is no problem for Capture – it can handle large journal databases without annoying query timeouts.
- Capture can easily adapt to all versions, even the early ClearSCADA ones.
By using LogMate® Capture with Geo SCADA, operators can pave the way for excellence in alarm management and combine the complementary features of two powerful tools.
Rounding out with the TiPS LogMate suite
Capture is just a starting point. In addition to that module, TiPS LogMate® offers a suite of focused products to get operators where they want to go with strategic alarm management tailored to the specific needs of their business. Here are a few other modules in the LogMate® suite that allow operators to maximize ROI:
- Signal: Detects events and drives reactions.
- netView: Allows a holistic display of alarms and reactions via tables or grids.
- TRAC: Generates and uses key performance indicators and graphics for ongoing alarm monitoring performance management.
- ACE: Provides analytics on alarm activity and performance of configurations.
- KB Agent: Vastly simplifies the constant re-population of the Alarm KB (the TiPS master alarm database).
- LogMate High Availability: Preserves database integrity during and after disaster recovery events.
Use LogMate® Capture to streamline alarm and event data collection from Geo SCADA and get all your alarms in one place. You can further leverage its capabilities with other products from the LogMate® suite!
To learn more about Capture or other LogMate® products, contact us for a no-obligation demonstration.