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Effective Alarm and Boundary Management Optimizes Offshore Platform Startup

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Never in our history has a platform alarm system attained acceptable perfomance so quickly after commissioning" "Without inBound flagging the violations, the errors would have been much more difficult to find and could have caused delays, lost production and unnecessary shutdowns." "The software has already paid for itself - and the entire alarm rationalization effort - because of the catches based on boundary violations alone. And, we now have the ongoing boundary management benefits during operations" Project Automation Lead Engineer Solution Because this was a greenfield deployment, the team was not able to leverage historical alarm data. That meant the team would need to rely solely on best practices to guide their work. The alarm design had four major goals: 1. Translate the platform's design documents into meaningful operating envelopes that reflect process safety, reliability and economic operating constraints 2. Design an alarm and process boundary system that spans the gap between the control system and the independent, automated safety systems accurately reflecting the above-mentioned operating envelopes 3. Enable the operator to take corrective actions before the safety systems initiate an expensive shutdown 4. Ensure that anticipated changes resulting from initial testing (and later operation) could be safely and consistently incorporated into the complex control and alarm configuration Alarm Rationalization Hexagon was engaged as an industry expert to review the platform owner's internal documents on alarm management, which were based on the international standards ISA-18.2 and IEC 62682 as well as the practical advice given in The Alarm Management Handbook written by PAS experts. The asset owner implemented PAS PlantState Integrity™ from Hexagon to fully document the alarm, control, and safety systems, including all interrelationships and dependencies. Beyond software, Hexagon experts also delivered a comprehensive Alarm Documentation and Rationalization project to define the meaning of each process alarm and eliminate all unnecessary alarms. It was determined that only 13,000 alarms (of 110,000 possible) were needed, resulting in an 88% reduction. These included 4,000 for the fire and gas system and 9,000 for production, utilities, rig and hull. Hexagon incorporated all alarms into a Master Alarm Database with valuable information on causes, consequences and corrective actions. Operators can access this data via their control system HMI.

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