Alarm management software for process industries

ProcessVue Guardian screenshot

ProcessVue alarm management software provides a means for companies in process industries to meet regulatory requirements and rationalise their alarms.

M.A.C. Solutions has added a new powerful software application to the ProcessVue Alarm Management software suite that incorporates a Master Alarm Database, a set of alarm rationalisation tools and comprehensive Management of Change functionality.

The new software, ProcessVue Guardian, is an essential part of the Alarm Rationalisation process for helping companies achieve full compliance with alarm management standards. The software, which is based on SQL with a web-based interface, allows users to create and manage a Master Alarm Database (MADB) and to create specific workflows in order to improve team communication and collaboration across a single or multiple plant networks. The software also provides functionality for producing full audits and change control traceability, as well as full version numbering and ‘roll-back’ to previous revisions. In addition, ProcessVue Guardian can be used to deploy the MADB to plant Distributed Control Systems (DCS) or other similar control systems.

Due to the IEC 62682 alarm management standard and Seveso III European Directive (enacted through the COMAH 2015 regulations, effective from 1st June 2015) there is an increasing need for companies to focus on alarms and alarm management, regardless of the maturity of their alarm management system. With ProcessVue Guardian, M.A.C. Solutions can now provide a single powerful software application for the complete alarm management lifecycle. ProcessVue Guardian will therefore appeal to a wide range of process industry customers, particularly Upper and Lower Tier COMAH-regulated or FDA-regulated sites. Target sectors include power stations, utility, oil & gas, petrochemicals, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and food processing.

Tim Ricketts, ProcessVue Guardian Product Manager at M.A.C. Solutions comments: “Whilst our ProcessVue Analyser and SOE software allows users to identify bad actor behaviour and requirements for alarm rationalisation, ProcessVue Guardian incorporates all the other functionality that users require to complete the full alarm management lifecycle, i.e. alarm rationalisation tools, a Master Alarm Database and Management of Change functionality. ProcessVue Guardian can be used as a standalone tool separate to the other products in the ProcessVue suite. The launch of ProcessVue Guardian now puts M.A.C. Solutions on a level playing field in terms of competing with other international alarm management software vendors.”

A MADB can be created within ProcessVue Guardian, including the creation of new projects and team members. Individuals can be assigned to review, approve or reject alarm parameter changes for the alarms within their assigned Project. The software is clean, logical and includes an electronic signature sign-off function. Updated alarm parameters can be exported from the ProcessVue Guardian MADB to plant control systems (DCS).

As Tim Ricketts continues: “A typical process plant will have thousands of configured alarms. Keeping track of these alarms can be a daunting task. ProcessVue Guardian’s ‘Project’ feature allows the user to break down the total number of configured alarms into smaller, more manageable chunks or subsets. For example, thousands of alarm tags for a plant could be broken down by point type, asset type such as pumps and valves, and the type of process, or by the individual responsible for that alarm tag or plant area.”

“This improves workflow and the management of alarms across single or multiple plants. Productivity will also improve, as alarms are dealt with faster and by the appropriate individual. If a change is made to an alarm tag, this is documented by Guardian, including why the change has been made, which provides full traceability,” adds Ricketts.

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