Plant management sees risk control as a top priority. However, the means available are often a hodgepodge of undocumented, disconnected, and problematic methods. With new approaches and technologies, building on the infrastructure of alarm management, the real-time visualization and monitoring of operations risk is being achieved.
This presentation covers the components of a layered, systematic, defense-in-depth concept to manage operations risk. The components are:
1. Control Loop Performance Monitoring, to ensure that control loops are effective.
2. Alarm Management, to ensure a functioning alarm system that enables the operator’s detection of abnormal conditions.
3. High Performance HMI, a properly designed process control interface, incorporating human factors principles to maximize the operator’s situation awareness.
4. Boundary Management, to continuously monitor the plant’s settings and position within dozens of predetermined boundaries, and to automatically report excursions.
5. Independent Protection Layer Monitoring, ensuring that all safety systems are properly configured, in operation, and with proper reporting and record keeping of activations.
6. System-wide automation system Management of Change, ensuring that changes are authorized, and that engineers making a change are fully informed as to the ripple effects of any change, thus avoiding change-related errors with inadvertent consequences.
7. Performance Dashboards and communication methods to expose hidden risks.
Based on alarm management tools, a convergence of technologies is enabling plant operators, engineers, and managers to know and understand, at all times, exactly how their plants are performing, and where their current risks lie.