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Alarm Analysis – One Size Does Not Fit All


So how can a location ensure that their alarm system meets the standards for human processing? Currently working on our 100th alarm project, Beville continues to develop and optimize our methodologies. We’ve found that a “one size fits all” approach definitely does not work. Too many of our clients have different needs, different resource constraints and different budgets. Consequently, we have been able to tailor our approach to alarm issues and now have multiple methods available for assessing/improving alarm system design:

1. Alarm Assessment – Given an alarm database, we can quickly examine several metrics and determine how the database compares to others in the industry. This is a good first step to determine if a more in-depth analysis is needed.

2. Alarm Response Analysis – Our most comprehensive analysis involves examination of every point with a team of operations personnel. While other analyses focus strictly on the over-alarmed, this analysis has the added benefit of identifying points that are not alarmed that should be.

3. “Generic” Alarm Response Analysis – Beville has amassed alarm data on many different process units. This data is used to generate the typical alarms that can be applied to both new and existing units. This approach is beneficial when time and personnel resources are limited.

4. Combination of Generic and Specific – The most recent approach involves working with a team of operators, as well as making use of “generic” data. Unit-specific alarm issues are resolved in a team environment, while Beville utilizes generic data where possible. Valuable operational resources are spared without sacrificing the quality of the alarm system.

Contact Beville for more information regarding alarm response analysis. Our goal, as always, is to provide the best human factors solutions possible.

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For further information, visit the links below.

| Alarm & Display System Analysis Overview | Alarm Management | Display Design | Alarm & Display Design Seminar | Beville Shape Calculator -Excel download | Alarm Distribution Estimator -Excel download |


Article Published By
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Impact of Alarm Rates and Interface Design on Operator Performance Automation World
Operator Interfaces: Moving from Comfortable to Most Effective Automation World
Operator Performance as a Function of Alarm Rate and Interface Design


This year's Fall meeting for the Center for Operator Performance will be October 24-26 in Corpus Christi. For more information, please contact Lisa Via. Guests are always welcome!


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Take our short survey on operator span of control. Click here (new window)

David Strobhar's book, "Human Factors in Process Plant Operation," is now available in both hardcover and Kindle e-book.

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