What is a Boundary?
In its simplest form, a process boundary is a limit value. If a process is operated beyond its boundaries, negative consequences can occur. Negative consequences can be inefficient operation, loss of containment, or anything in between. Note that there is a difference between a boundary and an alarm. Not all boundaries will have alarms associated with them. However, all process alarms, and some system alarms as well, can and should be associated with at least one boundary. Some alarms can be associated with multiple boundaries.
They consist of High and Low limits, deviations and rates of change. Once determined, boundaries can be used as guidance for:
- Safe operating limits
- Operating procedures / help guides
- Interlock and SIS settings
- Alarm settings
- Instrument ranges / re-ranging if needed
You can maintain boundary information in a commercially available solution or choose to develop your own.