exida - Alarm Management Services, Alarm Rationalization, ANSI/ISA-18.2-2009, EEMUA 191

Alarm Management.

Improve the performance of your operators through effective Alarm Management.


Having effective operators in a process plant is critical to maximizing production efficiency, product quality, and plant reliability. 

During a single shift , operators make numerous decisions that affect plant profitability. These include actions to avoid unplanned upsets
or to mitigate events that could lead to plant outages. A well-designed and highly-functional alarm system can add to the operator’s decision-making ability.

An effective alarm management program can deliverable quantifiable business benefits in the following areas:

  • Reduction in unplanned downtime (lost production)
  • Increased operator productivity
  • Reduction in avoidable maintenance of process equipment
  • Production optimization / debottlenecking / increased throughput
  • Capital savings for SIL requirement reductions (improved safety)
  • Reduced environmental / regulatory incidents
  • Energy savings 

What Makes an Effective Alarm Management Program?

We at exida will work with you to craft a program that is tailored to your requirements, complies with industry standards and guidelines on alarm management (e.g., EEMUA 191, ISA-18.2), improves operational performance, and is sustainable over the long term.

It typically consists of the following steps:

  1. Benchmark Alarm System Performance
  2. Development of an Alarm Philosophy Document
  3. Alarm Rationalization
  4. Advanced Alarm Design (e.g., dynamic alarming)
  5. Implementation of Rationalization results and creation of Alarm Response Procedures
  6. Alarm System Performance Monitoring & Assessment
  7. Auditing Alarm System Practices and Procedures

Request a Proposal     Alarm Management Primer     Alarm System Performance Assessment   

The exida alarm management program helps you to “deliver the right alarm at the right time to the right operator so that he/she can take the right corrective action to achieve the right result.”




Establish and document the standards for how your site or company will do alarm management (prioritization, HMI design, testing, training, alarm suppression, management of change, establish performance benchmarks).

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Alarm Philosophy

Alarm Philosophy

An alarm philosophy document (APD) is the cornerstone for development and sustainability of an effective alarm management program. It establishes the guidelines for how to address all aspects of alarm management

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Alarm Rationalization

Alarm Rationalization

Alarm rationalization (aka documentation and rationalization) is the process of reviewing and justifying alarms to ensure that they meet the criteria for being an alarm as defined in an alarm philosophy document.

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Case Study

exida worked with Ashland to Implement an Alarm Management Program that Makes the Alarm System More Useful during an Upset and Addresses the Loss of Experienced Operators

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Alarm Rationalization Made Easy with SILAlarm

SILAlarmTM is a tool for facilitating and documenting the results of alarm rationalization in a master alarm database for both new (greenfield) and existing (brownfield) systems. It was developed in accordance with the ISA-18.2 standard “Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries” and EEMUA 191.

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exida are the Alarm Management Subject Matter Experts. exida personnel helped write the ISA-18.2 standard on alarm management and subsequent technical reports.

Alarm Management Training Courses

We offer a range of Alarm Management training courses for professionals in the process industry, from basic to advanced concepts.We also offer customized training options available upon request.

Students benefit from exida's in-depth knowledge and expertise , enabling them to fully understand ISA-18.2 and implement procedures in their organizations to ensure that Functional Safety is maintained.

ALM 101 - Introduction to Alarm Management Practices & Principles

Operator response to alarms is a critical layer of protection to prevent a plant upset from escalating to an incident. Poor alarm management has been cited as a contributor to numerous industry incidents. Application of alarm management best practices can help increase operator productivity leading to optimized production and less unplanned downtime. The course will show how the ISA-18.2-2009 standard “Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries”, and the alarm management lifecycle defined in it, can be used to address common alarm management issues (e.g., nuisance alarms, alarm floods) and to create an effective, sustainable alarm management program that delivers quantifiable benefits.

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ALM 102 - Fundamentals of Alarm Management for the Practitioner: How to Apply ISA-18.2 / IEC 62682

The course is structured around the the alarm management lifecycle; reviewing the key requirements / activities of each stage along with industry best practices. It focuses in-depth on the engineering, design, implementation, and operational and improvement tasks that would be led by the practitioner; rationalization, basic alarm design, HMI design, dynamic alarming, designed alarm suppression, alarm shelving, implementation of alarm response procedures, evaluation of alarm system performance, and use of alarms as process safety safeguards and layers of protection. Human factors principles are introduced to show how they impact effective operator performance. Exercises are designed to demonstrate key principles applied in real situations. “Lessons learned” are shared from numerous successful alarm management projects around the world and from being an “insider” during the development of the standards.

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