November 2003

Special Report: Plant Safety and Environment

A path forward for DCS alarm management

Follow these guidelines to reduce operator overload and improve plant safety

Connor, T., Fluor Corp.; Grosdidier, P., Grodidier Consulting Services; Hollifield, B., Kulkarni, S., PAS, Inc.

Despite the recent industry focus on higher-level solutions, such as integration with supply chains and deployment of ERP systems, substantive technical challenges still abound in the control room. One such challenge, distributed control system (DCS) alarm management, bears considerably on plant safety1 and yet often fails to make the shortlist during project funding cycles. A familiar complaint from operation superintendents is that they know there is a problem, as does the entire control room staff, but they struggle to convince senior plant management of its seriousness and of the urgency for a remedy. The reas

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