Blog Post

Learning About the Logic Behind Alarms

Devin Manning

Throughout my internship at ProSys, I have learned about the vast amount of knowledge required for alarm management and controls. Who knew it took so much effort for an alarm to yell at you? Alarm Management isn’t about placing alarms on anything that can malfunction, rather it involves intelligent thought to ensure overall safety while not bogging down the operator with unnecessary distractions.

Dynamic alarms require built in logic which allows them to annunciate or remain suppressed depending upon the circumstances. In both Honeywell Experion® Control Builder and Microsoft Excel, I built the logic that goes into dynamically managed alarms to prevent unwanted disturbances in the control room. The logic is cleverly written so that an alarm is only activated when it needs to be. ProSys reviews the logic we’ve developed with the customer in alarm rationalization meetings to ensure the logic meets their satisfaction. During a recent meeting, I was able to discuss with an operator how hectic a control room can get, and it was clear to see how much operators appreciate the work ProSys does.

Along with learning how alarm management is properly done, I have surprisingly increased my Excel and coding skills during my internship. I did not think there was much more to learn about Excel until I had experience dealing with alarm rationalization spreadsheets. Now, I am comfortable writing simple macros to organize large amounts of data, which I believe will be very useful down the road.

In addition to coding in Excel, I have been fortunate enough to get a small taste of working in AgileOps, ProSys’s dynamic alarm management software. It was very convenient to have a database of points in the same program I was developing logic in. I believe that’s going to help prevent some future careless mistakes from being made. AgileOps can do much more than serve as a platform for developing logic though. I saw another side of AgileOps when I helped update the new Event Key Performance Indicator (EKPI) user manual documentation. After the logic is built and the alarms are implemented, full reports of the alarm system’s performance can be viewed in the EKPI feature of AgileOps.

I’ve been very happy with my time at ProSys so far. It’s been a pleasure to work with such a nice group of people who are always willing to help whenever I need it. I look forward to getting more hands on experience with AgileOps throughout my time at ProSys.  I believe I have learned many skills on the job that will be useful throughout my future. Interested in interning at ProSys? New opportunities will be available soon, so check out the career page for more!

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