Alarm reduction using Exaplog: A case study

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By reducing the number of alarms and enabling the audible alarming function of its control system, GFS Computing was able to restore audible alarming on half of its operator consoles, leading to tangible, measurable improvements in productivity, safety, and cost-reduction.

By Denny Edwards, President, GFS Computing

INFORMATION bombards operators today at an ever-increasing rate. This growing barrage of information is driven by additional measurements in the field and by inclusion of business data on the plant floor. Control systems only exasperate the problem if data is not properly filtered and tuned. At best, unorganized, unfiltered data can become useless. At worst, it can lead to confusion and operational mistakes. The job of the control engineer must now reach beyond traditional control to include data management on the plant floor.

In recent project involving GFS Computing and a major chemical company, the alarm management of a large plant was redefined to reduce drastically the number of nuisance alarms. The CS3000 system in the plant controlled over 10,000 I/O points. Before initiation of the project, the system was generating over 50,000 alarms per day. It was more than the operators could handle. As a result, audible alarming had been disabled in the plant. GFS used 6-Sigma methodology and several analysis tools, including Exaplog, to cut the alarming rate by 98%. This has resolved several production and safety issues. In addition, operator errors have been reduced, as have production losses.

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