EEMUA 191 Alarm Management in Adroit

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Over 90% of all SCADA HMI installations have some kind of alarming configured but the vast majority suffer from a common set of problems:

Too many nuisance alarms
A large diamond mine customer of Adroit was known to have over 10 000 alarms configured. This is information overload for operators. According to EEMUA 191 guidelines, an alarm is an event to which an operator must knowingly react, respond, and acknowledge – not simply acknowledge and ignore. No plant should have more than 6 such alarm occurrences per hour, i.e. no more than one every ten minutes. Quick Start Guide

Alarms simply ignored
Nuisance alarms are simply ignored by most users because they are considered inconsequential, as a result of too much information

Alarm viewers underutilized
Mostly, process faults are adequately displayed by graphical components on a mimic display. These are used as a starting point to initiate the correction process, making a “noisy” alarm viewer redundant when it should be the most important global view indicating the current health of the process

Mass acknowledgment
Alarms on alarm viewers tend to be acknowledged blindly

Lack of real information
Alarm systems tend to focus on the events/alarms themselves without taking into account the context and dynamics of the process

Over the years, there have been numerous catastrophic accidents attributable to these kinds of problems:


The Solution – Alarm Management
The Adroit Smart SCADA answer to this very important and widespread set of problems is Alarm Management, by means of which users are able to analyse data from existing “noisy” alarm configurations statistically. The information thereby created is used to remove purely nuisance alarms, adjust overly sensitive alarm limits, identify problematic process areas and equipment, etc.

At the heart of Adroit’s alarm management is a relational database containing both raw alarm data as well as inferred context data

  • Raw data includes:
  • Tag name
  • Tag description
  • Tag value
  • Time of occurrence
  • Time of acknowledgement
  • Time of clearance
  • Inferred data includes:
  • Plant name
  • Plant area
  • Logged-on operator name
  • Values of other process variables

By appropriately utilizing the generated information, alarm management improves process efficiencies as a result of:

The methodology:

Alarm Management Reports
Report Suite is a freely-distributed Adroit add-on that reports on data logged to SQL databases. It contains, inter alia, a Report Pack specifically tailored to visualizing, exporting, and printing information contained in an Adroit alarm management database.

Based on SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), reports are all web-based, meaning no front-end software is required. You can drill through from summary reports into more detailed reports at the click of a button. All reports are exportable to Excel, Word, PDF, etc., and are also schedulable. Report parameters and settings are defined on an individual user basis depending on their reporting requirements.

The alarm management report pack is therefore optimally structured to enable you to assess, analyse, and iteratively improve your alarm configuration as described above.

The following images show screenshots of some reports from the alarm management pack:

Alarm System Performance Dashboard

“Bad Actors” Report

Alarm Distribution Summary

Alarm Category Report

Reason and Notes Analysis

Operator Performance

New Click to view Alarm Management reports hosted as an ASP.NET Core web application. These reports display some key metrics on live alarms from the Quick Start training configuration running on our web server