The alarm system’s role is to interrupt the operator when the control system cannot cope with an upset, so the operator can manually intervene and bring the process back to normal operations. The alarm system is a fundamental layer of protection in the organization’s risk reduction strategy to mitigate the impacts resulting from process upsets and equipment failures.
Abnormal situations impact your facility’s profitability in a number of ways:
- Product throughput
- Product quality
- Equipment damage
- Personal injury & loss of life
- Job satisfaction & staff turnover
The goal of a high-performing alarm system is to support the operator in bringing the process under control as quickly as possible before a process upset propagates through the facility. The faster the operator can intervene with the right corrective actions, the less likely that abnormal situation will escalate to a quality excursion, shutdown trip, damaged equipment, or a safety incident.
Recent best-practices standards for alarm management (e.g., ANSI/ISA-18.2, IEC 62682) have established the minimum and recommended requirements for designing, operating, and maintaining alarm systems in the process industries. Regulators in various jurisdictions reference these standards as ‘recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices’ (RAGAGEP). We help our clients ensure their alarm systems stay in compliance with these standards and other industry guidelines.