The March / April 2020 issue of Intech contains an excellent article by Nick Sands and Donald Dunn, the co-chairs for the ISA-18 committee.
The article reviews some of the most frequently asked questions on alarm management:
- What is alarm management?
- Which alarm management standard do I follow: ISA-18.2, IEC 62682, or EEMUA 191?
- Is an alarm management program a regulatory requirement?
- How much does implementing an alarm management program cost?
- What is the cost benefit ratio of alarm management?
- How do I start an alarm management program?
- When is the alarm management program complete?
- Is alarm management really just a software application?
- Is alarm management really just rationalization?
- What further information is available on alarm management?
- Can I get help to implement my alarm management program?
A couple of comments I want to highlight and reinforce.
How do I start an alarm management program?
attending an alarm management training course (by a reputable organization that has been involved with the ISA-18.2 or IEC 62682 standards development since their inception) would be beneficial. There are many organizations that can be described as late to the party who have become informational members to simply market that they are members of the standards to sell their services.”
I have been an editor and voting member for ISA-18.2 since 2005. exida’s ALM-102 training class, which has been described as an alarm management “master” class, has been developed to be both pragmatic and practical. During the class we share unique insights from having been on the front lines during ISA-18.2’s development. Our vast project experiences with different applications and control systems allows us to focus on what you need to know to apply ISA-18.2 successfully and to prepare you for the common pitfalls. It also provides an opportunity to demonstrate your mastery of the material via an exam at the end of the class (if you pass you get a certificate).
Can I get help to implement my alarm management program?
Yes, you can get help implementing an alarm management program, but as they say, be careful of what you ask, because there may be unintended consequences. Every company that has anything to do with control systems or automation services today markets themselves as “alarm management subject-matter experts.” Most of these organizations have published white papers on the subject, and often this material is poor guidance at best if not completely wrong.
The article includes a short list of recommended papers that provide guidance on alarm management. Some of them were co-written by exida and are available for download here:
- exida Alarm Management Services
- Fundamentals of Alarm Management for the Practitioner: How to Apply ISA-18.2 / IEC 62682 Training Class