State-Based Alarm Management

The ISA106 committee on Procedure Automation for Continuous Process Operations is chartered with:

…developing standards, recommended practices, and technical reports on the design and implementation of procedures for automating continuous process operations.

The committee is addressing:

  • Models and terminology
  • Modularization of procedural steps to foster re-use and lower TCO
  • Exception handling for abnormal situations
  • Physical, procedural, and application models
  • Process unit orientation with operational perspective
  • Recommended best practices
  • Implementation of start up, shutdown, abnormal situations, hold states, and transition logic
  • Recommended target platform (i.e. control system vs. safety system) for different types of procedures
  • Lifecycle management best practices
  • Training and certification best practices

While the ISA106 committee’s work continues, they did publish a 2013 technical report on the benefits, best practices and language for applying continuous procedure automation.

At the October 24-28 Emerson Exchange conference, Emerson’s Joel Galmor and Aaron Crews will present, State-based Alarming and Control in DeltaV – A MOD5 Modernization Case Study. Here is their presentation’s abstract:

Emerson's Joel Galmor


Emerson's Aaron Crews


Procedure automation for continuous processes (also known as state-based control, or “batch for continuous processes”) is an approach to process control that can help improve safety, reliability, and operator performance.

The ISA 106 committee set out to develop a standard for just these reasons. Many of these state-based control concepts already exist today inside MOD5 systems developed by Dow Chemicals over the years. In this workshop, we will use a MOD5 system modernization project as a lens to show how these state-based concepts can be implemented seamlessly in DeltaV today.

In their presentation, they will note that continuous plants typically have the control strategies required to run the process, but are not equipped with reliable, safe, and efficient ways to handle changes in state. Transitions such as startup and shutdown, product changes, and equipment failures force operators to handle difficult situations outside their normal routine. These are the “abnormal” situations that process manufacturers and producers have been trying to manage.

Joel and Aaron will share an example where the process manufacturer was able to retain the operational advantages of their state-based control (SBC) algorithms in their aging system while taking advantage of all of the other benefits that a modern control system can provide. They will share typical metrics around control loops per operator, alarm management criteria, and other performance indicators that demonstrate the value added by this type of solution.

SBC offers state and transition logic that works with the control and alarm management strategies to embed best practices in the control system and to reduce the burden on operators, mitigating risk from human error. For example, the DeltaV state transition diagram (STD) block is perfectly suited for this. State-based alarming is built into the Emerson Project Management Office standard library and can be applied to change alarms based on the process state.

Today is the final day to get the “Early Bird” discount and save $400 off the regular conference registration rate. If you’re looking for learn more about a state-based approach to alarm management, make sure to register and add Joel and Aaron’s presentation to your schedule.

You can also connect and interact with other control system migration and modernization experts in the Improve & Modernize group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

2 comments

  1. Interested in the tools and implementation please. I am working on the subject for my project.

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