As one component of MAC Solutions’ suite of alarm management software; ProcessVue Guardian integrates a Master Alarm Database and a set of Alarm Rationalisation tools with comprehensive Management of Change functionality, into a single powerful application to help you meet your alarm management challenges.

Developed in accordance with current alarm management standards and guidelines; ProcessVue Guardian will help you to manage your alarm improvement program in compliance with your regulatory or corporate commitments.

ProcessVue Guardian’s simple, intuitive, web based client interface is cross browser and platform compatible, has been carefully designed for ease of use and is accessible to multiple concurrent users. With a comprehensive set of configurable options, ProcessVue Guardian can be tailored to fit your site’s individual alarm management and management of change requirements.

Master Alarm Database (MADB)

One of the requirements for any well managed alarm system is the provision of a comprehensive, current, Master Alarm Database. This is the authorised list of all alarms on your site.

Your MAD contains not just the basic tag and alarm information extracted from your control system configuration, but also supporting information such as:

  • Potential cause of the alarm and consequence of not responding to it
  • Time to consequence and operator response time or urgency
  • Operator action(s) to be carried out in response to the alarm
  • Basis of alarm design and setpoint selection
  • P&ID and / or Cause and Effects references

At the core of ProcessVue Guardian is a powerful, flexible database structure based on industry standard SQL technology; which is used to house all the parameters and information you require to support the management of alarms on your site.

  • Not limited by the number of alarm systems or tags
  • Data from multiple disparate sources can be easily imported regardless of format (e.g. csv, xls, text), including data files generated direct from your control system
  • Regardless of the source, data are accessed and displayed in a common format

In addition to retaining all your alarm configuration and associated data, ProcessVue Guardian:

  • Can be used to create an Alarm Response Manual for each alarm system in the MAD.

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Rationalisation tools

Rationalisation is the process of applying the requirements for an alarm and generating the supporting documentation, such as the basis for the alarm setpoint, the consequence, and corrective action that can be taken by the operator”. (IEC 62682 – 5.2.2.4).

Ensuring your alarm population is relevant and useful, is fundamental to good alarm management; and ProcessVue Guardian includes all the tools you require to rationalise the alarms in your Master Alarm Database (MAD).

In practice, this means reviewing every single alarm in your MAD to determine its suitability and priority in a structured manner, generally by considering the consequence of not responding to the alarm and the time available to carry out the corrective action. The results of these reviews are documented and stored along with the original configuration data in the MAD.

The benefits of a properly rationalised alarm population are:

  • Increased regulatory and corporate compliance
  • Improved operating environment through a reduction of nuisance alarms
  • Improved operational effectiveness which benefits your ‘bottom line’

In order to rationalise your alarms efficiently, you will need as a minimum to define a prioritisation method, tables of consequence and operator response time. ProcessVue Guardian has been designed to include:

  • Multiple customisable prioritisation methods based on recognised methodologies
  • Configurable consequence and operator response tables and priority matrices

ProcessVue Guardian’s other key features include:

  • Structured workflow to guide you through the rationalisation process
  • Control system independent
  • Multiple sources may be imported including data in configuration files generated from your control system
  • Definition of multiple projects for each control system
  • Powerful, flexible template driven structure which is customisable to suit each system
  • Multiple templates can be defined for each system
  • Includes bulk edit and copy functionality to streamline and speed up the rationalisation process

Recognising the importance of ensuring that the alarm configuration has been updated in the control system correctly, the following features have also been included in ProcessVue Guardian:

  • Rationalised alarm data can be exported in a machine readable format suitable for your system, thus minimising human intervention and the possibility of introducing errors.
  • Updated control system files can be imported into the ProcessVue Guardian for comparison with the rationalised data, thus ensuring confidence that the thousands of changes have been implemented without error

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Management of Change (MoC)

It is widely recognised throughout the process industries that making changes to assets can be prone to error; and indeed, some plant accidents and incidents have been attributed to poorly executed or unapproved changes. Because of this, alarm systems come under the same level of scrutiny as any other asset during an audit or following an incident.

Recognising that managing change in a structured manner is essential in today’s process industries in order to reduce risk and guard personnel safety, ProcessVue Guardian has been developed to meet a variety of needs; and features:

  • Built in flexibility to adapt to your MoC requirements
    • Designed to support MoC across a wide variety of applications
    • Multiple customisable templates to match your requirements
    • Meets your needs for alarm management and beyond
  • A fully managed workflow
  • A comprehensive audit trail of all changes
  • The ability to review, sign, approve or reject any changes
  • Revision control for all changes
  • The ability to revert to earlier revisions if required
  • A notification system to keep users up to date with changes and any outstanding tasks

In order to ensure that change is managed appropriately, according to your site’s procedures; ProcessVue Guardian has been designed around:

  • Comprehensive allocation of privileges to user roles
  • Each user can be allocated more than one role per project, selected from:
    • Owners
    • Approvers
    • Reviewers

Changes to alarms are often complicated by having the change information (if documented), scattered throughout the organisation in various formats with different people / roles / responsibilities. Therefore, ProcessVue Guardian supports:

  • Multiple standard ‘office’ formats for data import, export and reports

As the security of your data is paramount, careful consideration has been given to the operational aspects of ProcessVue Guardian, key features of which are:

  • No loss or corruption of data due to unexpected browser termination when modifying information
  • Utilisation of a digital signature, to provide a tamper evident database design to ensure the integrity of your data

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