November 2004

Special Report: Plant Safety and Environment

Intelligent alarm management in a petroleum refinery

Statistical process control and an expert system reduced nuisance alarms

Liu, J., Wuhan Petrochemical Works; Ho, W. K., Lim, K. W., Srinivasan, R., Tan, K. C., National University of Singapore

Nuisance alarms often clutter and obscure an operator's view of critical and important information. An alarm management system (AMS) for a refinery includes nuisance alarm suppression based on univariate statistical process control (SPC), intelligent advisory information to guide operator response and a result recovery mechanism in case of system failure. The introduction of DCSs with easily programmable alarm settings has resulted in a large number of alarm signals being configured on many sites to provide plant information to the operator. Alarm systems have consequently become an important tool used by operators to maintain safe plant operation.1,2 However, recent alarm system studi

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