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Don't be too alarmed with your automation

Get it right, and the alarms are quickly programmed, understood and addressed; get it wrong, and the alarm’s information effectiveness is lost in a long list of messages

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There are many new and old-school ways to handle alarm management. Several national and international standards exist and are built into many controllers and human-machine interfaces (HMIs). The bottom line is alarms are used to detect unsafe or unexpected machine conditions, and they must notify the operator clearly that a machine needs attention, immediately.So, what is a good starting point for good alarm management in a PLC? Consider ease of understanding, priorities, standard programming logic and reusable code. The alarm messages must be presented to an operator in a limited number, or it's likely they will be ignored or disabled. The methods to present and…

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