How EEMUA 191 Can Help You Achieve an Optimal Alarm System Design, Management and Procurement
EEMUA 191 Alarm Systems - A Guide to Design, Management and Procurement
Alarm systems are essential for the safe and efficient operation of industrial processes. They alert the operators to situations that require their attention and help them prevent, control and mitigate the effects of abnormal events. However, alarm systems can also become a source of distraction, confusion and frustration if they are not designed, managed and procured properly. In this article, we will explore how EEMUA 191, a globally recognized guide to good practice for alarm systems, can help you achieve an optimal alarm system for your facility.
Eemua 191 Alarm Systems - A Guide To Design, Management And Procurement - Edition 2.pdf
What is EEMUA 191?
EEMUA 191 stands for Engineering Equipment and Materials Users' Association Publication 191. It is a comprehensive guide that covers all aspects of alarm systems, from design to management to procurement. It was first published in 1999 by a group of alarm system experts working on high hazard sites, with input from the UK Health and Safety Executive. Since then, it has been updated twice, in 2007 and 2013, to reflect the latest developments and experiences in the field of alarm management.
EEMUA 191 is aligned with the international standards for alarm management, namely ISA 18.2 and IEC 62682. It provides clear and practical guidance on how to implement the alarm management philosophy in practice, how to apply alarm design principles and rationalization techniques, how to monitor and improve alarm performance, how to manage changes and audits of alarm systems, and how to specify, select and implement alarm systems.
EEMUA 191 is primarily concerned with alarm systems provided for people operating industrial processes. These include alarm systems in industries such as chemical manufacture, power generation, oil and gas extraction and refining, and others. However, much of the guidance is generic and can be applied in other sectors with appropriate interpretation.
Why is EEMUA 191 important?
EEMUA 191 is important because it helps you achieve an alarm system that is effective, reliable and user-friendly. An effective alarm system is one that provides timely and accurate information to the operators about the status of the process and alerts them to situations that require their intervention. A reliable alarm system is one that operates as intended and does not fail or malfunction. A user-friendly alarm system is one that supports the operators' situation awareness and decision making and does not overload or annoy them.
An effective, reliable and user-friendly alarm system can contribute to the safety, efficiency and compliance of your facility. It can help you prevent accidents, reduce downtime, optimize production, save costs, meet regulatory requirements, and enhance customer satisfaction.
On the other hand, a poorly designed, managed or procured alarm system can have negative consequences for your facility. It can cause operator errors, process upsets, equipment damage, environmental incidents, legal liabilities, reputational losses, and customer complaints.
Therefore, following EEMUA 191 can help you avoid these problems and improve your operational performance.
Designing an effective alarm system
The first step in achieving an effective alarm system is to design it properly. This involves defining the alarm philosophy, applying the alarm design principles, and conducting the alarm rationalization.
The alarm philosophy is a document that defines the purpose, scope, objectives, roles and responsibilities of the alarm system. It also establishes the criteria, methods and procedures for alarm design, management and procurement. The alarm philosophy is the foundation of the alarm system and should be developed and agreed by all the stakeholders, including the operators, engineers, managers, and regulators.
EEMUA 191 provides a checklist for an alarm philosophy document that covers the following topics:
Alarm system definition and objectives
Alarm system scope and boundaries
Alarm system ownership and organization
Alarm system standards and regulations
Alarm system design and implementation
Alarm system operation and maintenance
Alarm system performance monitoring and improvement
Alarm system management of change
Alarm system auditing and assessment
Alarm system documentation and training
The alarm philosophy should be reviewed and updated periodically to ensure its relevance and effectiveness.
Alarm design principles
The alarm design principles are the guidelines that ensure the quality and consistency of the alarm system. They define what constitutes an alarm, what are the types and priorities of alarms, how alarms are presented and acknowledged, how alarms are tested and verified, and how alarms are documented and recorded.
EEMUA 191 provides a set of alarm design principles that cover the following aspects:
An alarm should indicate a deviation from normal operation that requires a timely response by the operator.
An alarm should have a clear and concise message that identifies the cause, consequence and corrective action of the situation.
An alarm should have a priority that reflects the urgency and severity of the situation.
An alarm should have a unique audible and visual indication that distinguishes it from other alarms and normal process information.
An alarm should be acknowledged by the operator to confirm that it has been noticed and acted upon.
An alarm should be suppressed or inhibited when it is not relevant or useful to avoid nuisance or distraction.
An alarm should be tested and verified periodically to ensure its functionality and accuracy.
An alarm should be documented and recorded to provide information for analysis, improvement and learning.
The alarm design principles should be applied consistently throughout the alarm system to ensure its usability and reliability.
The alarm rationalization is a process that reviews and optimizes the existing or proposed alarms in the alarm system. It involves identifying, justifying, classifying, configuring, documenting and validating each alarm based on the alarm philosophy and design principles. The alarm rationalization aims to eliminate or reduce unnecessary, redundant, irrelevant or conflicting alarms and to ensure that each alarm is meaningful, useful and actionable.
EEMUA 191 provides a methodology for alarm rationalization that consists of the following steps:
Define the rationalization scope, objectives, criteria, team and schedule.
Gather the relevant information about the process, equipment, control system, operating procedures, safety systems, etc.
Identify all the potential alarms in the process using various techniques such as HAZOP, FMEA, LOPA, etc.
Justify each potential alarm based on its cause, consequence and corrective action.
Classify each justified alarm based on its priority, type, category, etc.
Configure each classified alarm based on its setpoint, deadband, delay, suppression logic, etc.
Document each configured alarm using a standard format that includes its tag name, description, message, priority, setpoint, etc.
Validate each documented alarm using simulation or testing tools to verify its functionality and performance.
The alarm rationalization should be performed periodically or whenever there is a significant change in the process or operation to ensure its validity and effectiveness.
Managing an alarm system
The second step in achieving an effective alarm system is to manage it properly. This involves monitoring the alarm performance, managing the alarm changes, and auditing the alarm system.
Alarm performance monitoring
The alarm performance monitoring is a process that measures and analyzes the performance of the alarm system using various metrics and indicators. It helps to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the alarm system, to detect any problems or issues with the alarms or operators, to evaluate the impact of any changes or improvements on the alarm system, and to provide feedback for continuous improvement.
EEMUA 191 provides a framework for alarm performance monitoring that includes the following elements:
Collect and store the alarm data from the control system, such as alarm timestamp, tag name, message, priority, status, etc.
Analyze and report the alarm data using various tools and techniques, such as histograms, trends, Pareto charts, scatter plots, etc.
Compare and benchmark the alarm data against the performance targets and industry standards, such as EEMUA 191 guidelines, ISA 18.2 metrics, etc.
Identify and prioritize the performance gaps and improvement opportunities based on the analysis and comparison.
Implement and evaluate the improvement actions based on the prioritization and feedback.
The alarm performance monitoring should be performed regularly or whenever there is a significant event or incident to ensure its timeliness and relevance.
Alarm management of change
The alarm management of change is a process that controls and documents any changes to the alarm system or its components. It ensures that any changes are justified, authorized, implemented, tested and communicated properly. It also ensures that any changes do not adversely affect the alarm system performance or operation.
EEMUA 191 provides a procedure for alarm management of change that consists of the following steps:
Identify the need for change based on the performance monitoring, rationalization, auditing or other sources.
Propose the change using a standard format that includes the reason, scope, impact, risk and benefit of the change.
Review and approve the change using a formal process that involves the relevant stakeholders and authorities.
Implement the change using a structured method that follows the alarm philosophy and design principles.
Test and verify the change using appropriate tools and techniques to confirm its functionality and performance.
Document and communicate the change using a consistent format that updates the alarm database, records and manuals.
The alarm management of change should be performed whenever there is a change to the alarm system or its components to ensure its traceability and accountability.
Alarm auditing and assessment
The alarm auditing and assessment is a process that evaluates the compliance and effectiveness of the alarm system against the alarm philosophy, design principles, performance targets and industry standards. It helps to verify that the alarm system meets the requirements and expectations of the stakeholders and regulators. It also helps to identify any gaps or weaknesses in the alarm system design, management or procurement.
EEMUA 191 provides a methodology for alarm auditing and assessment that includes the following steps:
Plan the audit or assessment using a standard format that defines the scope, objectives, criteria, team and schedule.
Conduct the audit or assessment using various methods such as interviews, observations, surveys, inspections, reviews, etc.
Report the audit or assessment findings using a clear format that summarizes the results, conclusions and recommendations.
Follow up the audit or assessment actions using a systematic process that tracks and verifies their implementation and effectiveness.
The alarm auditing and assessment should be performed periodically or whenever there is a significant change or incident to ensure its validity and reliability.
Procuring an alarm system
The third step in achieving an effective alarm system is to procure it properly. This involves specifying the alarm system requirements, selecting the alarm system vendor or supplier, and implementing the alarm system project.
Alarm system requirements
The alarm system requirements are the specifications that define what you need from your alarm system in terms of functionality, performance, quality, reliability, usability, maintainability, etc. They also define what you expect from your alarm system vendor or supplier in terms of delivery, installation, commissioning, training, support, warranty, etc. The alarm system requirements should be based on your alarm philosophy document and aligned with your operational needs and objectives.
EEMUA 191 provides a checklist for an alarm system requirements document that covers the following topics:
Alarm system scope and boundaries
Alarm system functionality and performance
Alarm system hardware and software
Alarm system integration and interface
Alarm system testing and verification
Alarm system documentation and training
Alarm system delivery and installation
Alarm system commissioning and acceptance
Alarm system support and warranty
The alarm system requirements should be clear, concise, consistent, complete, realistic and measurable.
Alarm system selection
The alarm system selection is a process that evaluates and compares the different alarm system vendors or suppliers and their offerings based on the alarm system requirements. It helps to choose the best option that meets your needs and expectations and provides the best value for money. The alarm system selection should be fair, transparent, objective and documented.
EEMUA 191 provides a framework for alarm system selection that includes the following elements:
Define the selection criteria and weightings that reflect the importance of each requirement.
Identify and shortlist the potential alarm system vendors or suppliers based on their qualifications, experience, reputation, etc.
Request and review the proposals from the shortlisted vendors or suppliers based on their technical, commercial, contractual, etc. aspects.
Conduct and score the evaluations of the proposals based on the selection criteria and weightings.
Negotiate and finalize the contract with the selected vendor or supplier based on the best offer and terms.
The alarm system selection should be performed carefully and diligently to ensure its suitability and quality.
Alarm system implementation
The alarm system implementation is a process that executes and completes the alarm system project according to the contract. It involves delivering, installing, commissioning, testing, accepting, training and supporting the alarm system. It also involves managing the project scope, schedule, budget, quality, risk, communication, etc. The alarm system implementation should be done in collaboration with the alarm system vendor or supplier and other stakeholders.
EEMUA 191 provides a guideline for alarm system implementation that covers the following aspects:
Define and agree on the project plan, roles and responsibilities, deliverables and milestones, etc.
Monitor and control the project progress, performance, issues and changes, etc.
Receive and inspect the alarm system hardware and software components.
Install and integrate the alarm system components with the existing control system and other systems.
Commission and test the alarm system functionality and performance.
Accept and sign off the alarm system project deliverables and outcomes.
Train and support the alarm system users and maintainers.
Close and review the alarm system project lessons learned and feedback.
The alarm system implementation should be performed professionally and efficiently to ensure its timeliness and effectiveness.
In this article, we have discussed how EEMUA 191 Alarm Systems - A Guide to Design, Management and Procurement can help you achieve an effective alarm system for your facility. We have explained what EEMUA 191 is, why it is important, how it can help you design, manage and procure your alarm system. We have also provided some examples of checklists, frameworks, methodologies and guidelines from EEMUA 191 that you can use for your alarm system project.
We hope that this article has given you a useful overview of EEMUA 191 and its benefits for your alarm system. If you want to learn more about EEMUA 191 or get a copy of it, you can visit the official website of Engineering Equipment and Materials Users' Association (EEMUA). You can also check out their online training course on Alarm Systems or their webinar recording on human factors.
EEMUA 191 is a valuable resource for anyone who is involved in alarm systems for industrial processes. It can help you improve your alarm system design, management and procurement practices and achieve better operational performance. By following EEMUA 191, you can ensure that your alarm system is effective, reliable and user-friendly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions that people may have about EEMUA 191 Alarm Systems - A Guide to Design, Management and Procurement:
What is the difference between EEMUA 191 Edition 2 (2007) and Edition 3 (2013)?
The main difference between EEMUA 191 Edition 2 (2007) and Edition 3 (2013) is that Edition 3 has been updated to reflect the latest developments and experiences in the field of alarm management. Some of the updates include:
Guidance on implementing the alarm management philosophy in practice
Guidance on applications in geographically distributed processes
Guidance on performance metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs)
Industries and IEC 62682: 2015 Management of alarm systems for the process industries
Updated examples and case studies
Edition 3 also has a new layout and format that makes it easier to read and use.
How can I measure the performance of my alarm system?
You can measure the performance of your alarm system by using various metrics and indicators that reflect the quality and quantity of alarms. Some of the common metrics and indicators are:
Average alarm rate: the number of alarms per unit time (e.g., hour, day, month) averaged over a period of time (e.g., week, month, year)
Peak alarm rate: the maximum number of alarms per unit time (e.g., hour, day, month) within a period of time (e.g., week, month, year)
Standing alarms: the number of alarms that remain active for longer than a specified time (e.g., 10 minutes, 1 hour)
Stale alarms: the number of alarms that have not changed state for longer than a specified time (e.g., 24 hours, 7 days)
Chattering alarms: the number of alarms that change state more than a specified number of times within a specified time (e.g., 3 times in 1 minute)
Operator response time: the time elapsed between the activation and acknowledgment of an alarm by the operator
Operator workload: the percentage of time that the operator spends on responding to alarms
You can collect and analyze these metrics and indicators using various tools and techniques, such as histograms, trends, Pa