Alarm Reporting and Analytics (Exaquantum/ARA)

The Problem

Plant operators are often faced with a high number of alarms and abnormal situations and are therefore unable to respond quickly enough to prevent safety related incidents, environmental issues, shutdowns and equipment damage. A poorly applied alarm management policy resulting in excessive alarms and events can also make operators routinely ignore alarms due to the excessive amount of information being received.

The Solution

Exaquantum/ARA is Yokogawa's Alarm Reporting and Analysis solution. Based on EEMUA 191 and ANSI/ISA-18.2-2009, Exaquantum/ARA assists supervisors and managers in implementing effective alarm management by highlighting patterns in alarm and event occurrences making it easier to identify and correct areas of concern.

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
(Consultation)
✓ 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
  • Reducing the number of distracting and nuisance alarms will allow operators to focus on and react faster to abnormal situations with the proper corrective action
  • Reduced operator stress will improve reaction times for incident resolution
  • Improved plant safety and reduced risk of serious environmental incidents
  • Identification of improvement opportunities through focused KPIs
  • Consolidated alarm and process information can be supplied in custom reports to provide additional analysis information
  • Information available to key stakeholders on demand and by email, facilitating efficient and timely decision making
  • 44 reports, many based on EEMUA 191 and ANSI/ISA-18.2-2009
  • On demand access to Operator and Area KPIs
  • Drill down from summary reports to the individual alarms and events
  • Detailed filtering options to expose hidden problem areas
  • Automatic replication of CENTUM plant hierarchy
  • Reports can be scheduled for printing, storing and emailing
  • Integration with Yokogawa's CENTUM DCS, CAMS for HIS and FAST/TOOLS SCADA
  • Compatible with non-Yokogawa systems via OPC A&E 1.1

Exaquantum/ARA, hereafter referred to as 'ARA', continuously collects alarm and event data to provide statistical reports based on EEUMA 191 and ANSI/ISA-18.2-2009. These reports aid supervisors and managers in identifying which alarms and events are occurring most frequently and where the alarm management policy can be improved. Each report can be filtered and drilled down to desired levels, including individual alarm occurrences, and then exported to a number of file formats including PDF, Word and Excel.

ARA can be installed on a single server and provides access to multiple users via its intuitive web user interface, eliminating the need for any client software.

In addition to the web user interface, authorized access to the data is provided via Excel and SQL Server Report Builder, allowing custom reports to be created.

Exaquantum/ARA Alarm Frequency Page

Alarm and Event Collection

Alarms and event data is continuously collected via OPC A&E 1.1. For those Yokogawa systems that use Exaopc, Yokogawa has extended Exaopc's OPC HDA server to include Historical Alarms & Events (HAE), which allows Exaopc to automatically buffer all alarms and events if the network connection to Exaquantum PIMS is lost. Once the connection is restored, all buffered Exaopc alarms and events will be available to be processed by ARA.

Exaquantum/ARA Long Standing Alarms Page

Interface with Yokogawa's 'CAMS for HIS'

ARA can retrieve the following information from Yokogawa's 'CAMS for HIS':

  • Detection Disabled Alarms
    This status is used in CAMS to annunciate important alarms and remove low-value alarm messages from DCS alarm displays within an operator station. Reports that are designed to reflect alarm loading from the operator's perspective exclude detection disabled alarms. Reports are provided that display information about the number and frequency of disabled alarms
  • Alarm Priority Overrides
    CAMS provides alternative priority settings to override those present in the DCS. If present, ARA processes new alarms using the CAMS priority; otherwise the DCS alarm level is used
  • Group Suppressions
    CAMS group suppression allows a group of alarms to be suppressed from the operator's perspective. Reports that contain alarm loading from the operator's perspective can be filtered to include or exclude group suppressed alarms
  • Shelved Alarms
    CAMS allows operators to shelve alarms, temporarily removing them from the operator's view, allowing them to concentrate on more important alarms and return to the shelved alarms when convenient. Reports that relate to actions by operators can be filtered to include or exclude shelved alarms

Automatic Plant Hierarchy Creation

If configured in the Process Control System, ARA can extract and store plant hierarchy information contained within received alarm and event messages. This plant hierarchy can then be used to filter information displayed in reports.

Reports Overview

ARA provides 44 reports (described below), grouped into the following four areas:

  • Management – providing a high-level overview of plant KPIs
  • Performance – covering specific EEMUA 191 performance guidelines to quickly highlight potential areas of concern
  • Operations – day-to-day operator reports covering alarm rates and trends
  • Maintenance – highlighting problem alarms and aiding in the alarm rationalization process

Report Filters

ARA report filters are used to refine and analyze the report information to expose hidden alarming problems. As the information on the report is already generated, filtering occurs on demand. Depending on the report, the filters may include:

  • Time resolution and periods to determine when problems are occurring and the alarming patterns
  • Plant area or units to isolate areas of particular concern
  • Operator selection to help identify the alarms and events that the selected operator sees most frequently
  • Alarm tag and conditions help to identify patterns in a particular alarms behavior, enabling effective corrective action to be taken
  • Alarm priority to highlight the priority distribution and discover alarms that may have an inappropriate priority level assigned to them
  • Suppression types to view statistics on the number of alarms that have been disabled, group suppressed and shelved

Exaquantum/ARA Alarm Flood Page

Report Scheduling and Exporting

Microsoft Reporting Services technology is used by ARA to schedule and distribute reports to various file locations and email addresses.

In addition, ARA provides key exporting options for ARA reports, such as:

  • PDF – Standard for publishing, storing and distributing reports
  • Excel – Allows further analysis and combining of disparate data for reporting
  • Word – Creation of weekly/monthly reports that can be annotated and signed off

Exaquantum/ARA Area Alarm Peak Page

Web User Interface

Client access to ARA is provided via an intuitive web user interface, eliminating the need for specific client software. A central navigation bar provides links to each of the reports, localization options and other Exaquantum products.

The web user interface is compatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer versions 8, 9 and 10 with security provided through Windows local and domain user groups.

Localization

The ARA user interface can be seamlessly switched between installed languages. ARA is provided with US English by default with support for additional languages on request – please contact a local Yokogawa office for more information.

Exaquantum/ARA Report Branding

Report styles are stored centrally in ARA, allowing style changes to be made easily and consistently across all reports. This ensures that company standards can be adhered to in the production of reports.

Custom Reports

In addition to the reports supplied with ARA, custom reports can be created in:

  • Excel – ARA data can be further analyzed and charted with process data from Exaquantum PIMS also incorporated to produce a single report containing both alarm and process data
  • SQL Server Report Builder – Created in SQL Report Builder and accessed via the ARA web browser menu of reports, these reports can be scheduled and distributed

Exaquantum/ARA Product Storage Tank Event Analysis Page

Alarm Rationalization using Exaquantum/ARA with Exaquantum/AMD (Alarm Master Database)

Alarm rationalization can be provided by using Exaquantum/ARA with Yokogawa's Master Alarm Database solution 'Exaquantum/AMD'.

Exaquantum/ARA provides a comprehensive set of reports in order to understand the performance of the system and to identify problem areas. Once such problem alarms have been identified, the alarm settings can then be modified using Exaquantum/AMD's comprehensive Management of Change (MOC) environment.

Overview:

Alarm management is not just a project that has a start and end date; it's a continuous cycle. Once the alarm system has been reviewed and improvements have been identified, we must check that controls are in place to ensure the alarm system remains functional. The key is to ensure that the system is continuously monitored and any changes are fully documented. There are seven key steps for alarm management. Rationalization is one of those critical steps.

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