Alarm Rationalization: The Key to Improving Alarm System Performance
Alarm rationalization is the process of systematically reviewing alarms to make sure that they are meaningful and relevant when presented to the operator. It also ensures that the operator will have sufficient time to respond with a predefined corrective action in order to prevent an unwanted consequence (lost production, personnel safety, environmental release, asset damage, etc.). Rationalization improves the alarm system, which in turn impacts the bottom line.
How Rationalization Improves Alarm System Performance
Reduce the alarm load on the operator by eliminating alarms that are not useful. This frees them up to concen- trate on optimizing the process or performing other value-added tasks
Prioritize alarms so that operators know which to respond to first (ensuring that they don’t miss the critical alarm that prevents the unplanned shutdown or the environmental release)
Reposition alarm limits to allow the process to run closer to its operating limits (without exceeding them) based on proper consideration of process dynamics, operator response time, equipment / process constraints
Capture knowledge of senior operators and make available in alarm response procedures (drive consistency in response and support inexperienced operators)
Qualify operator response to alarms as an e ective independent protection layer (risk reduction factor 2 – 10) reducing SIL requirements for other layers of protection such as a safety instrumented systems