Alarm rationalisation and management

Over $500,000 saved through alarm rationalisation and management.

The client recognised that they needed to review their alarm management strategy as they were aware that alarm flooding prevents operators from diagnosing process upsets quickly and stops them responding fast enough to upsets to avert dangerous situations and plant trips.

The client had carried out alarm rationalisation projects with other suppliers but these were far from successful. 

ABB Consulting were chosen to provide alarm management support. A joint team from ABB Consulting and ABB Service carried out a major update of part of the offshore control system on an oil production platform to re-prioritise all the alarms configured within the system. The work carried out involved reviewing the alarm priorities on almost 50,000 points and changing them on over 32,000 points.

ABB provided alarm management process consultancy, project management skills and DCS engineering support through the existing service support engineers, all as part of the client’s own improvement project team.

The project was delivered in three phases:

  • Study phase
  • Investigation phase
  • Implementation phase

“A number of shutdowns have been avoided due to the low level of alarms the operators now have to deal with, which enables them to react to the alarms and events they do receive in a more timely and proactive manner. Several instances of saving in the region of $250,000 - $500,000 in lost production have been recorded.”

“This work has been completed safely and with no impact on production in only seven days due to the excellent prework, planning and professionalism of all involved.”

Main data

Customer:  Oil Producing Company
Site:  North Sea
Customer need:  Alarm rationalisation and management
Scope:  Alarm control system was poorly designed and had a problem with nuisance alarms
Application:  North Sea assets
Customer benefits:
Improved operational and maintenance performance
Reduction in nuisance and standing alarms
Commissioning year: 2012
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