Fundamentals of Alarm Management

14th Topical on Refinery Processing
2011 AIChE Spring Meeting
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
March 13, 2011 - 8:00pm

When the information era began thirty years ago, the focus for the refinery control specialist was placing as much data as possible into the hands of engineers and operators. The philosophy remained prevalent though the volume of transferred data leaped by orders of magnitude every decade. Eventually refinery operators began to realize that the sheer volume of data was, in part, causing the problem; and thus the field of Alarm Management was born.

But how does one go through the process of identifying the most critical alarms, and once that is known, what are the methods used to get the most important information in the hands of the correct person? In this presentation the fundamentals of Alarm Management will be discussed, including assessing hazards, identifying data transmission bottlenecks and understanding how our brains are wired to recognize and respond to information. Specific examples will be cited and current good practices will be described.

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