Intelligent Field Device Diagnostic Alarm Management

by | Sep 4, 2013 | Asset Management, Control & Safety Systems

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

In an earlier post, Plant Alarm Management and Analysis, we highlighted the importance of managing plant alarms and the 2009 ratified alarm management standard, ANSI/ISA 18.2. Emerson’s Jonas Berge added a comment that I wanted to share with everyone in a separate blog post [some hyperlinks added].

Emerson's Jonas BergeAnother important aspect of alarm management, apart from PROCESS alarm management, is DEVICE diagnostic alarm management. Emerson pioneered device diagnostic alarm management with “PlantWeb Alerts” in field devices and DeltaV version 6 back in 2002. Before PlantWeb Alerts, device diagnostic alarm management was an “all or nothing” deal. Either you give the operators all device diagnostic alarms, or none.

Clearly ‘all’ result in alarm flooding, so soon they were disabled and nothing went to the operators – no early warning. Moreover, all device diagnostics regardless of severity or criticality had the same priority, so daily maintenance and turnaround planners had a hard time using diagnostics for planning. PlantWeb Alerts provide the ability to rationalize device diagnostics alarms, just like EEMUA 191 and ISA18.2 suggests for process alarms.

PlantWeb Alerts thus enables a small amount of selected device diagnostic alarms from critical devices to go to the operators, thus preventing device alarm flooding, while providing an early warning of process upsets that could result from device failure. Similarly, maintenance planners get a prioritized list of device diagnostics alarms, so they can tackle severe problems in critical devices first, thus improving scheduling.

Subsequently, the renowned NAMUR user group created the NE107 recommendation which is very similar to PlantWeb Alerts. Subsequent to that, DeltaV version 12 now supports NAMUR NE107: http://www2.emersonprocess.com/siteadmincenter/…

The NE107 “status signals” (icons) can also be seen in Emerson device “dashboards”; indicating if the device is good, failed, need maintenance, or is out of service.

I covered this topic in my Emerson Exchange 2012 paper #1A-1910 “Intelligent Device Management Best Practices -Incorporating Device Diagnostics in Daily Maintenance” which was based on this guideline: https://www.emerson.com/documents/automation/why-electronic-device-description-language-eddl-technology-right-choice-for-smart-plant-installations-en-57264.pdf/DeviceManagement/…

Standardization for the work processes to deploy and use intelligent device management is being done by the ISA108 work group: https://www.isa.org/…

NAMUR NE107 and ISA18.2 are mentioned in every meeting.

This is similar to what Emerson already does with the INSTALL-IMPLEMENT-INCORPORATE programs for AMS Intelligent Device Manager.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.