Friday, 20 December 2013 06:15

Honeywell is an alarm management DynAMo

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Honeywell has released a major new product called the DynAMo alarm management suite.

The package, based on 20 years of alarm management expertise, is designed to be used in process plants such as oil refineries, and in mining sites, to manage the many alarms generated by machinery handling industrial processes.

“Operators can get completely overwhelmed by alarm floods. They get desensitised,”said Honeywell’s Darren Wyllie, announcing the new release in Sydney. “Many operators get so many alarms that they cannot tell important events from routine ones, which can cause serious problems when important alerts are not acted upon.

“If you get thousands of alarms a day you switch off. Alarm management becomes a necessity.

“We can take a systematic approach, and benchmark the alarm system. We can rationalise and document it, but then we need to manage it dynamically.”

Hence the name of the system – DynAMo is an acronym for Dynamic Alarm Management.

“This is where many alarm rationalisation processes fail. Over time engineered solutions fail start to drift. DynAMo introduces change management and compliance with alarm guidelines.

“You can manage Key Performance Indicators and ensure you conform with alarm guidelines, such as those from EEMUA (The Engineering Equipment and Materials Users' Association). There should be no more than nine standing alarms on the console, for example.

“You can define KPIs like average number of alarms per day, number of standing alarms, and the distribution of alarms (high, medium, low). The result is the most effective use of the alarm system, so that real emergencies are dealt with and everyday occurrences managed properly.

“If your alarms are out of control it’s quite possible you processes are out of control as well.”

Wyllie said the new release of Honeywell's new DynAMo Alarm Suite harnesses over 20 years of alarm management experience. “It enables process plants to develop and implement an effective alarm strategy that is aligned with industry-recognised guidelines and standards.

“It empowers operators to detect and avoid abnormal situations and helps enterprises improve safety, maintain production uptime and increase profitability.”

Honeywell’s DynAMo Alarm Suite includes:

Documentation and Enforcement

Vendor-neutral master alarm database software to monitor control system for changes to the alarm configuration that deviate from engineered design settings. Enables users to import alarm configuration information from distributed control systems (DCS), human machine interfaces (HMIs) and other systems. This helps users confirm that configuration is in line with the site’s alarm management policies and remains in effect over the plant lifecycle as well as document changes to it.

Metrics and Reporting

Vendor-independent software that collects and stores alarm and event data from any data source. Its customisable, role-based dashboard allows operators, engineers and managers to view the health of the alarm system at a glance. Web-based, standards-compliant key performance indicator reports provide an accurate snapshot of current alarm system performance.

The system uses data from the Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Consortium (an organisation Honeywell helped found nearly 20 years ago). It helps users identify problems in alarm system configuration, collect and store all alarm and event data, identify and resolve control loop problems, and improve the effectiveness of alarm systems.

Alerts and Notifications

Alerts and notifications software that reduces the load on an operator by automatically monitoring process conditions and providing early automatic notification of events. Alerts and notifications software can be used to monitor any data available through an OPC server and works with any control system that supports OPC (OPC is a widely used industrial automation standard).

Honeywell was once an IT vendor, but is now best known for industrial control and engineering systems. It has long been a leader in alarm management, and was instrumental in setting up the Alarm Management Task Force in 1992, along with petroleum companies Amoco, Chevron and Exxon.


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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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