512-863-3653 sales@tipsweb.com
4 min read

Pipeline operators who use the Emerson PipelineManager solution to monitor liquid and gas pipelines have a unique opportunity to get the best possible alarm management capabilities by adding the TiPS LogMate solution. Let’s delve into this a bit more below.

Laying the foundation – The importance of pipeline management

There are millions of miles of pipelines in the United States. Many of them carry natural gas, crude oil and other hazardous materials. These pipelines pose substantial risks for fires, explosions and environmental damage from leaks. In fact, between January 2010 and March 2021, gas and hazardous liquid pipeline incidents caused nearly $7 billion in damages.

Indeed, the frequency of such incidents caused the US Transportation Security Administration to assume regulatory responsibility for pipeline safety under the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). PHMSA specifically requires alarm management plans to be in place on pipelines, and that certain types of hazardous materials incidents be reported promptly and accurately. Finally, the PHMSA has security guidelines in place for pipelines.

Perhaps more important than the prevention of property and environmental damage and regulatory compliance is the role that alarm management plays in the safety of employees and the impact in the community. Early warning combined with correct and timely response save lives.


The Emerson solution

PipelineManager is an industry-leading solution for the detection of pipeline leaks. It uses a simulation based on modeling technology to locate leaks. For example, the platform will measure pressure at various points along a pipeline. If it detects a flow of X barrels per minute at Point A, and a flow of (X-100) barrels further down the line at Point B, its modeling technology will calculate all the relevant variables and notify the pipeline operators by way of alarms. The same can apply to drops in pressure or temperature, depending on the application.

The Emerson solution monitors the entire pipeline and uses its modeling technology to notify operators of predicted future events, and it performs “what if” scenarios. But it does much more than detect leaks. Other features include:

  • Inventory control.
  • Flow optimization.
  • Production forecasting.

It is a powerful solution for all-encompassing pipeline management, not just leak detection alarms.

Simplifying alarms with LogMate

Consolidation and simplification are key precepts in alarm management. Operators are subject to frequent alarms from various places with reaction instructions for them to follow under stress.

It is crucial to ensure that alarms are necessary, prioritized and documented, and that they go where they need to go (collectively, alarm rationalization). Further, operators need clear reaction instructions. In order to make this happen, they need smart data collection to build a solid baseline.

Emerson’s pipeline management tool, while powerful, introduces another stream of alarms that may need to go not only to production operators but also to others covering a wider scope of activities and alarms. For example, personnel involved in safety, automation, security and environmental functions may need to see alarms and be able to react in a certain way.

TiPS LogMate addresses this need. It is a full-featured alarm management solution that makes handling alarms easy. Its Capture module does exactly what it sounds like. It captures the alarm data stream from a control system to build and rationalize an alarm database in LogMate, along with other alarms.

Let’s see how LogMate and PipelineManager work together

The key to the solution is the Emerson database named ModelDb. It contains a real-time history of all events and alarms, and it resides on an SQL server compatible with the Capture SQL server:

  • Capture connects to the ModelDb and imports relevant data. This process requires only a few simple steps.
  • Capture queries two data tables in ModelDb for alarms and event fields.
  • Capture identifies, filters and groups relevant data from ModelDb into database records.

To ensure that the imported data is organized and identified in Capture, TiPS created a look-up table to link each numerical pipeline leak detection system data field to a string definition containing alarm details. This string definition is included with each record collected by LogMate.

By combining the complementary features of LogMate with those of Emerson PipelineManager, operators can achieve excellence in alarm management and pipeline production management.


Other TiPS products for superior alarm management

In addition to Capture, the LogMate product suite includes a host of tools and modules:

  • Signal: A real-time event detection and reaction system.
  • netView: A web browser-based tool that allows operators to graphically display alarm and reaction information.
  • TRAC: An analytics engine that generates and uses key performance indicators to graphically track alarm monitoring performance.
  • ACE (Alarm Configuration Expert): An advanced statistical analysis module to review alarm activity and alarm configurations.
  • KB Agent (Alarm Knowledge Base Agent): A tool to automate the constant re-population of the master alarm database per alarm management best practices.
  • LogMate High Availability: A module that protects against data loss and gaps during and after disaster recovery events.

Learn more

Leverage the combined power of TiPS and Emerson to improve your alarm management. Monitor all alarms in one spot using LogMate. To learn more, please contact us for a no-obligation demo!