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Alarm Fingerprint Service

Provides valuable information about your alarm system practices and performance, with comparisons to industry guidelines.

The Fingerprint Service also proposes an improvement plan.  The service is intended to answer the following key questions about alarm management:

  • Is the alarm system documented?
  • Are there many nuisance alarms moving in and out of alarm states frequently causing operators to ignore them?
  • Is there a long list of standing alarms making it difficult for operators to identify the most important ones?
  • Are the alarms prioritized in operator views?
  • How do operators assess the usefulness of the alarm system and what aspects could be improved?
  • Do all alarms include well defined operator actions?

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Schedule
Scope of Work
Deliverables

The Alarm Fingerprint  typically takes 3-4 days of work and one meeting to present the results to complete. There are two different options for obtaining the data to be used for alarm performance calculations. One option is based on obtaining alarm data files from the customer that can be imported into ABB’s Smart Logger software or alternatively the Alarm Fingerprint Tool

The second option is to install and configure the Smart Logger software at the customer site to collect alarm data as the alarms occur.

The Alarm Fingerprint  service is based on the following typical schedules for these two different options.

Option A: Use Alarm Data Files from Customer (Preferred)

Days 1 – 3 (Offsite)

  • Alarm data (data dump received from customer).
  • Examine alarm data files and either
    • build a template for ABB Smart Logger software to import data.
    • or use the Event Analyser Fingerprint Tool to import data

Days OPTIONAL (Onsite)

  • OPTIONAL: Conduct interviews with operators, supervisors, engineers and DCS technicians.
  • OPTIONAL: Collect documentation for the Alarm Management system (e.g. Alarm Philosophy, Alarm Design, MOC Procedures)

Days 7 – 12 (Offsite)

  • Complete the Alarm System Performance assessment (data analysis and generating plots of performance indices using ABB’s Expert Tool software / or Alarm Fingerprint Tool).
  • Complete the Alarm System Management assessment (examine documentation and other information).
  • Generate the Executive and Technical reports.
  • Create Final presentation.
  • Conduct Final presentation meeting with customer and deliver final reports.

Option B: Use Smart Logger at Customer Site to Collect Data

Days 1 – 2 (Offsite)

  • Meeting to kick off the work and discuss the following requests:
  • Schedule onsite visit and ensure personnel are available for interviews
  • Need a computer available for ABB Smart Logger software install with access to DCS alarm data
  • Collect contact information for project team personnel
  • Build 1st version of template for Smart Logger data collection.

Days 3 – 7 (Onsite)

  • Install and configure Smart Logger software to collect alarm data from DCS
  • Conduct interviews with operators, supervisors, engineers and DCS technicians.
  • Collect documentation for the Alarm Management system (e.g. Alarm Philosophy, Alarm Design, MOC Procedures)
  • Collect any alarm system data that is difficult to compute from alarm data (e.g. standing alarm lists).

Days 8 – 16 (no work required)

  • Data collection continues at site with Smart Logger.

Days 17 – 22 (Offsite)

  • Complete the Alarm System Performance assessment (data analysis and generating plots of performance indices using ABB’s Expert Tool software).
  • Complete the Alarm System Management assessment (examine documentation and other information).
  • Generate the Executive and Technical reports.
  • Create Final presentation.
  • Conduct Final presentation meeting with customer and deliver final reports.

ABB can usually deliver an Alarm Fingerprint  within three to five weeks of receipt of a purchase order.

Initial Project Work

  • Obtain information on the DCS and alarm system.
  • Obtain alarm data files from customer, if available.

Site Visit (Optional)

  • Conduct interviews with operators. Gather opinions on the values and deficiencies of the alarm system and go through the Alarm System Questionnaire for Operators.
  • Conduct interviews with relevant supervisors, process engineers, and DCS technicians to obtain information about the alarm system configuration, documentation, management of change, training, etc.

The results will be documented in the Alarm FingerPrint report, and Final presentation. The goal of the ABB Alarm Fingerprint  is to produce a working document that can be used as a benchmark, aid, and technical database to capture all the work of the Fingerprint in a logical format.  Each report will be outlined as follows.

Executive Chapter

The Executive Report highlights current best practices, and summarizes EEMUA 191 benchmark findings, maturity of alarm handling practices, procedures and culture. 

The executive report displays a rating (Good, Fair, Caution, Problem) for each of the assessment items for both alarm system performance indices and alarm system management.  The report also includes a summary of the findings and a list of recommendations. The recommendations can be divided into areas that the customer can implement, areas that ABB can implement, and areas to work together.

Technical Chapter

This report is the backbone to all the findings and recommendations reported in the Executive report.  ABB takes great effort to ensure that all findings and recommendations are drawn from actual data rather than personal bias.  The technical report consists of many graphs, tables, and interpretations.  Anyone should be able to link the findings and recommendations to actual data as defined and shown in the technical report.  This report is an excellent reference for future improvements and can act as a performance benchmark for current operating conditions.

The Technical Report includes alarm statistics of the collected data with comparisons to EEMUA 191 guidelines. The report includes an analysis of the alarm rates, frequency, priorities, and operator response times similar to the examples shown in the Analysis subsection. The report also compares the current management of the alarm system relative to best practices.

Final Presentation

The final presentation will contain a summary of findings, a description of the methodology used for the data collection and analysis, and a list of recommendations.

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