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DynAMo turns noise into knowledge

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A process plant can face as many as 4000 alarms a day causing the industry to lose US$10 billion per year due to abnormal situations.

Each incident can cost between US$100,000 and US$1 million per plant per year.

Honeywell has drawn on its 20-years of alarm management experience (and borrowed a little from comic books) to come with a solution -- DynAMo.

The solution is targeted at mining, minerals processing and oil & gas facilities but could find applications in food and industrial manufacturing as well.

This alarm management software reduces the overall number of alarms while helping operators focus and respond to the most critical of those. It is even promoted by Honeywell's own "action hero" DynAMo Man, kitted out in red (see image at the end of this piece).

Of the thousands of alarms generated in a plant every day, many are not serious. Control room operators need to quickly distinguish between routine process alarms and critical alarms that warn of operating problems or safety issues.

At the launch in Sydney, Honeywell Process Solutions' Darren Wyllie drew attention to the 1998 Esso Longford gas explosion. "The subsequent Royal Commission determined that 'excessive alarm and warning systems had caused workers to become desensitised to possible hazardous occurrences," explained Wyllie who is General Manager, Advanced Solutions – Pacific.

EEMUA 191 and ISA 18.2 guidelines recommend the average alarm rate should be one per five minutes. [The Engineering Equipment and Materials Users’ Association Publication 191 “Alarm Systems - A Guide to Design, Management, and Procurement” was first released in 1999 and is considered the defacto standard for Alarm Management. A second edition was released in 2007. ISA and ANSI approved a  new standard in June, ANSI/ISA-18.2-2009 “Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries”. ]

Darren Honeywell Process Solutions

Darren Wyllie is General Manager, Advanced Solutions – Pacific, Honeywell Process Solutions.

DynAMo Alarm Suite can help users reduce overall alarm count by as much as 80 percent, identify maintenance issues, and increase visibility of critical alarms that require urgent attention.

Its customisable, role-based dashboard enables operators, engineers and managers to view the health of their alarm system at a glance.

A key feature of the new software is that it is compatible with many mobile devices, enabling personnel to view alarm metrics at any time, from almost any location. This ease of access enables more frequent monitoring and faster corrective action, which helps alleviate a major fatigue factor of operators.

“When operators are forced to deal with hundreds of alarms at any given point in time, there is increased risk to safety not to mention process efficiency,” said Vimal Kapur, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Process Solutions Advanced Solutions business.

“The DynAMo Alarm Suite is an effective tool for optimising alarm management programs to prevent alarm floods and ‘chatter,’ and reduce operator stress. The software offers a layer of protection to minimise unplanned outages, safety incidents and environmental releases.”

DynAMo Alarm Suite can be integrated with Honeywell’s Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS), as well as any other control system. 

Franck Arnaud Abessolo from Cameroon and Dynamo Man at the Honeywell Users Group EMEA 2013

Franck Arnaud Abessolo (R) from Cameroon and DynAMo Man at the Honeywell Users Group EMEA 2013.

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