Boundary Management

Collecting and actively verifying that process boundaries are known, documented and maintained by process controls and safe guards. Good boundary management is based on solid engineering principles. This information should be available to all boundary owners, such as Engineering (Process, Controls and Mechanical), Operations, Environmental, etc. and remain connected to controls, alarm documents and people. Boundary Management gives you a controlled and managed approach while providing consistency (required by PSM 29 CFR 1910), efficiency, information retrieval and preservation of knowledge.


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. 

Master Control System Database

Master Control System Database (MCSD) serves as an excellent means of capturing and securing Boundary Management information for any boundary owner and their authorized users. Using MCSD as your Boundary Management repository will help consolidate the various boundaries that can evolve and change over time into one location. It can also eliminate the chance for various boundary documents to get out of sync. 

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