It is only natural to be startled as soon as we hear alarms go off. Anyone can go into panic mode with loud warning sounds blaring in our surroundings, pop-up messages inundating our display monitors or, even worse, emergency lights flashing in our work areas. Come on, even an everyday sound like an alarm clock scares many of us.
Now, imagine managing industrial systems and suddenly distress alarms go off. At the same time, your computer screen continuously flashes the same error message: Warning, Error Alert.
Scary, isn't it? When it comes to industrial environments, the key to conquering alarms is to remain calm, follow safety procedures and solve problems quickly and effectively before other errors occur and more alarms go off.
This month, ControlDesign.com wants to point you to a few resources that can help you, if not prepare you, when and if the alarms go off.
The Real Cause of Alarm Problems
This paper notes the many factors that impact the performance of an alarm system, and how alarm management fits in.
A Fresh Look at Alarm Performance Metrics
Learn how using a good mix of all types of alarm-performance metrics builds a better foundation from which to evaluate the performance of alarm systems.
To download PDF papers, go to www.controldesign.com/.whitepapers
"Alarm Management Blunders: Avoiding 12 Costly Mistakes" is a white paper from Matrikon that explores the importance of effective alarm systems and industrial safety.
This paper highlights mistakes process controls operators and engineers have made in the past while undertaking alarm management solutions. Log on to www.controldesign.com/12AlarmMistakes and learn how you can avoid these same mistakes.
Machine Safety Videos and Survey Report 2010
Executive Editor Jim Montague speaks with Fred Hayes, director of technical services at the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute, about the latest trends in machine safety methods and equipment now being used in industrial machines and applications. Watch this two-part video report and access the complete study at www.controldesign.com/MachineSafetyVideos.
Read this report at www.controldesign.com/WorstAlarmSystems and discover how bad things can get when you rely on alarm systems that perform inadequately.
Overall, understanding alarm systems and managing them effectively can be tricky. If you want to learn more about alarms and how these have been simplified over the years, read Senior Technical Editor Dan Hebert's article "Alarms Simplified."
Hebert says alarm systems have progressed thanks to three technologies: programmable graphics terminals, Ethernet/Internet communications, and controllers with PC-like functionality.
Read the full article at www.controldesign.com/SimpleAlarms and come to understand how these technologies have made alarm system advancements easier.
Yes, industrial alarms are scary, but knowing how to manage them is how you can take charge and control your alarm fears.