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Innovative Thinking

Automation Solutions: Effective Alarm Management

 Automation Solutions Alarm Management

How many blinking lights register as background noise for the operator on your plant floor?

In the design or planning phase of a project, alarms may be touted as central to the safety and efficiency of a process. But without considering the realistic use for an alarm and taking steps to ensure truly effective reactions, alarms may do more harm than good.

The real danger is that important alarms will get lost in the static. Known as "alarm fatigue," it can dull an operator's sensitivity to alarms when a dangerous or costly situation occurs. 

Stripping Out Rogue Code or Excess Alarms

How many disabled or standing alarms are littering your alarm logs? When alarms go off for situations that don't require an urgent response, overwhelm the operator with medium or low priority problems, or trigger so frequently as to be meaningless, it defeats the purpose of enabling that alarm. It’s worthwhile to evaluate alarm logs for meaningful events and strip out the alarms that leech the operator’s attention.

In some cases, alarms may be linked to outdated or rogue code. This code may be disconnected from the larger system, but still triggers alarms while running in the background. When updating or integrating your system, be sure to check that old coding isn’t setting off alarms.

Custom HMIs and Guided Support

Set your alarm system up for success by choosing HMIs with crystal clear, common sense design. HMIs should not require constant reference to a manual to navigate, especially when resolving alarms. Well-programmed HMIs will have no-frills, easy-to-use guidance built into alarm screens to help walk the operator through the appropriate resolution.

An experienced automation solutions partner can make alarm management as painless and effective as possible by providing actionable responses to truly important alarms.

Choosing an Automation Solutions Partner

Premier Automation's engineering team has practical, firsthand experience in alarm management. Misfiring or unnecessary alarms are not only inefficient, but can contribute to unsafe working conditions when operators build up a tolerance or have no guidance in resolving an alarm.

Our engineers work to understand your unique needs to design and implement an effective alarm system, including HMIs that make alarm management simple and successful. Reach out to us with your ideas or concerns for your next project, and our team will find the best automation solutions for your needs.

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