Alarms Philosophy
K.-U.Kasemir, K.S.White* (ORNL)
An effective alarm system consists of a mechanism to monitor control points and generate alarm notifications, tools for operators to view, hear, acknowledge and handle alarms and a good configuration. Despite the availability of numerous fully featured tools, accelerator alarm systems continue to be disappointing to operations, frequently to the point of alarms being permanently silenced or totally ignored. This is often due to configurations that produce an excessive number of alarms or fail to communicate the required operator response. Most accelerator controls systems do a good job of monitoring specified points and generating notifications when parameters exceed predefined limits. In some cases, improved tools can help, but more often, poor configuration is the root cause of ineffective alarm systems. A SNS, we have invested considerable effort in generating appropriate configurations using a rigorous set of rules based on best practices in the industrial process controls community. This paper will discuss our alarm configuration philosophy and operator response to our new system.
SNS is managed by UT-Battelle, LLC, under contract DE-AC05-00OR22725 for the U.S. Department of Energy