Dynamic Alarm Management (AAASuite)

Alarm flooding can lead to the oversight of important alarms, incorrect responses, and a failure to take action by operators. This can be a serious impediment to safe and stable plant operations, particularly when running a plant with reduced staff. The need to improve alarm management by reviewing alarms, optimizing settings, and enhancing functions is widely recognized. While it normally requires a significant investment and the involvement of large numbers of personnel from multiple departments to address the root causes of nuisance alarms, an innovative alarm management system is now available that greatly simplifies this process. AAASuite (Triple A Suite) automatically reduces the number of alarms and frees up engineering personnel for other tasks.

AAASuite typical-alarm-figure 

AAASuite effective figure

Service Description Yokogawa Deliverables
Alarm & Event Analysis ✓ Report of current state of Alarm
✓ Statistics of Alarm & Events
✓ Statistics of manual interventions
✓ Top 5 Bad actors for Alarms
Alarm Philosophy ✓ Alarm Philosophy document compliant with ISA 18.2 standards
Fundamental Nuisance Alarm Reduction ✓ Report of the Nuisance alarms in the plant
✓ Root cause for the Nuisance alarms
✓ Countermeasures to prevent alarming for the Nuisance alarms
✓ Report containing the before and after improvements from this service
ISA 18.2/EEMUA#191 based Alarm System Design
(Consultation & Training)
✓ Report of the current Alarm state and the gaps in design compared to standards
✓ Support in the design of the new Alarm system as per standards
✓ Training on conducting Documentation & Rationalization exercise
ISA 18.2/EEMUA#191 based Alarm System Design
(Software & Training)
✓ Installation, commissioning and training of Exaquantum\AMD to establish Alarm Master design database
Operation State based Alarm Management
(Consultation & Training)
✓ Report of the current state of Alarm set points for various operation conditions in the plant
✓ Design of the new Dynamic Alarm Management
Operation State based Alarm Management
(Software & Training)
✓ Installation, Commissioning and training of AAASuite/Exapilot for Dynamic Alarm Management
Alarm Monitoring & Improvisation
✓ Report of current state of Alarm
✓ Statistics of Alarm & Events
✓ Statistics of Manual Interventions
✓ Areas of improvisation based on current state of Alarms
Alarm Monitoring & Improvisation
(Software & Training)
✓ Installation, Commissioning and training of Exaquantum\ARA for Alarm monitoring and reporting

1. Enhanced safety

Only important alarms are notified to operators in a timely fashion, helping prevent hazardous situations that can result when an alarm is ignored or an incorrect response is made.

2. Process stability

Operators are notified in advance of the correct measures necessary to intervene and maintain process stability. Direct and indirect losses resulting from incorrect or delayed intervention are reduced.

3. Operation efficiency

Plants can be operated safely and efficiently with a minimal number of operators.

4. Efficient knowledge management

With its advanced and intelligent alarm logic, AAASuite enables the accumulated knowledge of highly experienced engineers to be visualized as logic charts that give both engineers and operators a quick grasp of the overall operation.

5. Engineering workload reduction

AAASuite frees up for other assignments engineers who normally would be required for such demanding and time-consuming alarm management tasks as gathering and analyzing data, and making modifications to DCS applications.

AAASuite Main advantages

1. Automatic alarm suppression
AAASuite automatically identifies the following kinds of nuisance alarms and suppresses their repetition by the DCS functions.

  • Repeating HI/LO alarms caused by incorrect alarm setting
  • Longstanding false HI/LO alarms caused by incorrect alarm hysteresis setting
  • Oscillating HI/LO alarms caused by incorrect PID setting
  • Input out of range alarms caused by overrange
  • Input out of range alarms caused by minor transmitter problems
  • Repeating annunciators caused by incomplete the DCS sequence

2. Automatic alarm re-notification
AAASuite automatically and periodically re-notifies the following important alarms to bring them to the attentions of the operators.

  • Longstanding true HI/LO alarms
  • Longstanding input out of range alarms caused by a broken wire

3. Automatic alarm prediction
HH/LL alarms often serve as the trigger an interlock sequences that leads to an emergency shut down. AAASuite automatically predicts when a process will reach its alarm limits and issues a timely alert to operators, enabling them to intervene before a process reaches the HH/LL state.

4. Dynamic alarm setting (Optional)
An alarm threshold should be adjusted when there is a change in the operation conditions (e.g. grade change, load change). When such a change occurs, AAASuite automatically downloads the optimum alarm threshold(stored in a CSV format file) to the DCS. When the operation conditions change again, AAASuite uploads to this CSV format file current alarm threshold that is stored in the DCS.

5. Advanced and intelligent alert (Optional)
AAASuite can issue advanced types of alerts that add value in the monitoring of:

  • field instruments
  • process equipment
  • process performance
  • human error
Steps Key function Result
1 Suppression of repeating nuisance alarms Nuisance alarms drastically decreased
2 Optimization of alarm setting Nuisance alarms drastically decreased
3 Re-notification of longstanding true alarms Alerts slightly increased
4 Prediction of critical HH/LL alarms Alerts slightly increased
5 Addition of more advanced alerts Alerts slightly increased

Operation and Condition Monitoring Windows

Operation window: function can be started and stopped manually

Condition monitoring window: a list of suppressed alarms and annunciators can be displayed with related information. 

AAASuite Operation and condition monitoring windows

Parameter Registration and Operating Status Windows

Detail setting for alarm suppression: exception tag names can be registered
Operation status window: displays a list of suppressed alarms and annunciators together with related information. 

AAASuite parameter registration and operating status windows

Audit trail window:

Audit trail log of operations is stored in CSV files.
This log will be used to improve alarm management.

AAAsuite audit trail window


Large process industry companies have recently started building plants with world-class safety and profitability to reinforce their competitive edge in the global market. As for plant operations, support functions for improving operators' plant operation skills and for extending operators' maximum capability are required to the DCS so that an operator can expand the area of plant monitoring or operate a plant with higher cost- consciousness.


Due to emerging competitors from the rapidly growing countries such as India and China and the global economic downturn triggered by the Lehman shock, many companies in the process industries are struggling to survive the severe global competition.

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