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Alarm Management using EcoStruxure System Advisor


Alarm Management using EcoStruxure System Advisor

What is an Alarm?

 ISA-18.2 defines an alarm as “an audible and/or visible means of indicating to the operator an equipment malfunction, process deviation, or abnormal condition requiring a response.”.

Alarm Evolution

When we entered the digital revolution Distributed Control Systems were a benefit to the industry. The Console operator could now control the process without having to understand the equipment necessary to perform the control functions. Pre DCS era creating an alarm in an operational alarm panel was expensive, but now alarms can be configured on DCS at nearly zero incremental cost.

Through the efforts of ISA-18.2, IEC 62682 and EEMUA and other such professional groups, a large amount of best practice information exists to aid the control system engineer in designing effective alarm systems.

Challenges Today





An inefficient / poorly performing alarm system manifests itself in alarm frequency and it may lead to reduced production, leading to indecision, confusion and console operator overload. What happens if they miss a critical alarm? may lead to reduce production or it can end up with unplanned shutdown, also it can trigger environmental damage or safety incidents.

Schneider Electric’s Workflow to resolve Alarm Problem in a plant



                                                        Figure 1: Schneider Electric Alarm Management Work flow


How Schneider Electric’s System Advisor Resolve the Alarm Problem

Schneider Electric’s Alarm Management tools are designed to comply standards. EcoStruxure System Advisor for Process Control is a knowledge management application to centralize the various functions related to Electronic documentation, Alarm management and other day to day management of EcoStruxure Foxboro Distributed Control Systems. System Advisor improves Engineering productivity, Efficiency, and Effectiveness.

 System Advisor.JPG                                                                    Figure 2: EcoStruxure System Advisor


System Advisor Alarm Management module help to


Analysis of both Alarm Dynamics and Alarm Configuration

  • Analyze alarms such as Most Frequent Alarms, Chattering Alarms, Standing Alarms, etc.
  • Help to prioritize alarms management
  • Help to eliminate redundant alarms, not required alarms etc.

Documentation and Rationalization Features

  • Rationalization process based on the finding and make a documentation of the alarms to be used for the daily operation, next cycle of rationalization process
  • Master Alarm Database (MADB) can be called from DCS HMI to provide the Operator with alarm information

Provides Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)


Change Tracking

  • Any changes as the result of the rationalization process will be capture and easily can be filter to see what changes has been done.

Alarm Shelving (Foxboro DCS Only)

  • Dynamic Shelving and Auto Un-Shelving base on logic or time.
  • To help operation to temporary Shelve alarm as the alarm is not required to some reason, such as under maintenance, testing etc.
  • Complete Audit trail of Shelved alarms

Alarm Rationalization

Schneider Electric Alarm Management Consulting Services are grounded in the findings and recommendations of the Abnormal Situation Management consortium (ASM) and follow the Engineering Equipment and Material User Association (EEMUA) Publication No. 191 Guidelines and the ISA SP-18.2.2009 standards.


                                                                  Figure 3: Alarm Lifecycle Management


Alarm management model1.jpg

                                                   Figure 4: Schneider Electric Alarm Management Model

System Advisor Benefits

  • Improve Plant Safety
  • Increase operator productivity
  • Improve process performance
  • Reduce potential for a “missed” alarm within an alarm burst causing a safety, environmental or economic  incident
  • Reduce audit costs for regulatory compliance
  • Reduce costs associated with managing documentation updates
  • Help ensure correct database configuration and optimize resource utilization and system performance
  • Centralize Alarm Shelving management
  • Complete change tracking
  • Complete MOC workflow process with email alerts


This Service and Alarm Management tools are DCS vendor agnostic.

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Administrator Administrator

Re: Alarm Management using EcoStruxure System Advisor

Veru interesting topic! Thnaks for sharing!

Rodrigo G. 

Industrial Automation Community manager

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