To alarm or not to alarm?

Jun 17, 2015 2:21:00 AM | Posted by Jeff Wood

Alarm rationalization is a step that should be taken to avoid the generation of unnecessary alarms. Otherwise the alarm may end up of the alarm list and stay there for a while.

To alarm or not to alarm? That is the question. There are many control room alarm screens with alarms that are hours, days, and sometimes weeks old. Why did these alarms show up on the screens if they were not important enough to address at the time they occurred? Was the operator in a hurry to acknowledge the alarm to stop the horn? Are there so many alarms that come in that the operator is overwhelmed by the number of alarms that come in. Are there multiple alarms for the same signal or occurrence? Is the alarm just not that important?

Read More →

Factory acceptance testing with system simulators

Nov 18, 2014 7:56:00 AM | Posted by Jeff Wood

System simulators allow developers to test most of a new control system, but not the entire system. See 6 tips for the factory acceptance test (FAT) phase of your project.

Virtual machines and control system simulation have been a great help in checking out systems during development. These have allowed the developer to be able to check out the control system code prior to installation. Most factory acceptance tests (FATs) are conducted using a simulated system or part of the real system that will be used for final installation. Over the past several years I have developed several new plant control systems using system simulators. Although this allows the developer to check out most of the system it does not check out the entire system.

Read More →