Yokogawa upgrades AAA alarm management software to cope with alarm flooding | Automation.com

Yokogawa upgrades AAA alarm management software to cope with alarm flooding

October 13, 2006 - Yokogawa has released a new upgrade to its Advanced Alarm Administrator (AAASuite) to Version R1.20. AAASuite is a comprehensive alarm management system that optimizes and enhances process alarms issued by control systems. AAASuite improves operator performance by minimizing nuisance alarms and providing timely notification of only necessary alarms, thereby preventing alarm flooding and enabling safe, stable and cost effective plant operations.

Recently, industrial plants have been aggressively streamlining their control rooms and control systems, reducing the number of operators to achieve more efficient operations. Process alarms (alarms) are incorporated in control systems as an essential monitoring function that ensures the safe and stable operation of plants. Ideally, alarms should be systematically and uniformly distributed at the transition points between normal, upset, and shutdown plant statuses so that operators are notified in a timely manner and only when necessary. If control rooms and control systems are streamlined with poor alarm implementation, even a minor variation in process status can immediately trigger numerous alarms. Consequently, operators may miss critical alarms and fail to quickly or correctly respond to abnormal situations, resulting in operations that exceed product design specifications, the loss of raw materials, damaged equipment, plant shutdowns, or even disaster. This is why alarm management, which includes the optimization and upgrading of alarms, has become a priority for many plants. Because of employee turnover and reduction in workforce, many of plants do not have a sufficient number of engineers on hand who possess the level of plant experience and knowledge necessary to carryout alarm management changes. Consequently many plants have not succeeded in solving these problems and are still plagued by alarm flooding. AAASuite was developed to help plant personnel cope with these alarm flooding and management issues.

Major features of AAASuite R1.20 are as follows:
(1) Static Alarm Suppression Function Added
The addition of an optional static alarm suppression function facilitates equipment-based simultaneous suppression of alarms at start-up, shutdown, or upset of a plant. It accommodates two modes of operation:
  • MAN mode -- alarm suppression is controlled by an operator, corresponding to plant operating status (start-up, running, shutdown, etc.)
  • AUT mode -- alarm suppression is set automatically, corresponding to predetermined equipment-specific operating status configured by AAASuite settings.

(2) Alarm Suppression Tag Exception Function Added
In AAASuite R1.20, tags that have alarm suppression and therefore require no monitoring, are automatically excluded from analysis and action.

(3) Limitations of CENTUM CS Controller-dedicated Function Removed

AAASuite R1.20 enables the unlimited use of Yokogawa legacy controllers. This makes AAASuite R1.20 suitable for systems that combine CENTUM V, XL, and CS controllers.

AAASuite compliments Yokogawa’s Exaplog product, which provides graphical analysis of alarms and events of process automation systems. Once problems and issues have been identified and prioritized by Exaplog, AAASuite then optimizes and enhances alarming functions to pave the way to an effective alarm management practice.

About Yokogawa Corporation of America
Yokogawa Corporation of America is the North American unit of $4 billion Yokogawa Electric Corporation, a global leader in the manufacture and supply of instrumentation, process control, and automation solutions. Headquartered in Newnan, Georgia, Yokogawa Corporation of America serves a diverse customer base with market-leading products including analyzers, flowmeters, transmitters, controllers, recorders, data acquisition products, meters, instruments, distributed control systems, and more.
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