Alarm and Event Analysis for Batch Process Improvement

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Alarm and event analysis has long been used for improving process operation. However since alarms are usually generated and displayed based on physical equipment, alarm analysis has been difficult to perform on a batch basis. In this paper, we focus on the interrelation of alarm/message notification and operator reaction in a batch process and analyze them systematically according to S88.01 Models and Terminology. Balance patterns of alarm/message notification and operator reactions are visually analyzed. Batch based analysis is done by grouping and filtering alarm and event data by master recipe, procedural hierarchy, and batch unit. This makes it easy to find and improve spurious alarms and inefficient operator habits. In a brief experience in a pharmaceutical plant, spurious alarms have been reduced by approximately 30% and smoother operation procedures have been implemented.