At the core of ethylene manufacturing, plant operators play a critical role in maintaining safe, sustainable and profitable production. For nearly four decades, industrial companies and automation suppliers have unwittingly installed control systems without adequate attention to the design of alarm systems. Consequently, alarm systems have become a menace to operations personnel. At times when the alarm system is most needed, too may simultaneous alarms can overwhelm the operator and impede their ability to effectively react and respond to the situation. Nuisance alarms, in addition to the alarm floods, are routinely causing unnecessary stress and fatigue upon the operations personnel.
This paper examines the history of the modern alarm system, provides an analysis of the cost of poor performing alarms to the industry, and delivers a concise seven-step best practice methodology for designing and implementing a sound alarm management system.
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