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APC Background

The papers provided in this section have been written by prominent specialists in the field of APC and its application to industrial processes and submitted to APC-network.com for publication. They provide the users with a background knowledge of the relevant technology. The copyright for these papers belong to the authors and any authorisation to quote or use of the contents should be addressed direcly to the authors.


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APC Background
The Quick Guide to Alarm Review
Edward Dilley is a chartered Chemical Engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the oil, petrochemical, polymer and food industries. He has specialised in Process Control, and was responsible for developing alarms policy following the Gulf ‘Paraglider’ incident. He currently lives in Peterborough, UK. ed.dilley@btinternet.com Tel +44 1733 239595.

Introduction This paper is intended to help Managers, Engineers and Technicians review their existing Alarms System, to identify problems and to assist in designing improvements. There are now many excellent references to the problems caused by 'Alarm Overload'. However the team tasked with reviewing an alarm system may be overwhelmed with good advice, and be unsure how best to start; I know because I've been in that position myself. The key part of this paper is a list of 30 questions about your process alarm-system. Your answers will identify the problems and probably make the solutions self-evident. Most solutions are cheap, but even if more advanced techniques are called for, it is still necessary to have the basics right. My basis for discussion is an existing process with a Digital Control System and associated alarms. 'Normal' operation is deemed acceptable. The objective of an Alarm Review and Improvement project is that the operators can handle a process upset as safely and confidently as they do 'normal' operation. An economic bonus may well be that 'normal' operation itself improves.

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