Alarm Enrichment with Metadata
MAY 2024
Alarms exemplify an area ripe for digitalisation, offering numerous tangible benefits. Consider a water company utilising alarm data to track incidents contributing to environmental breaches of consent, enabling them to sidestep potential fines, or optimising their alarms to reduce expensive callouts to remote facilities. Similarly, a pharmaceutical company could leverage alarm data to uphold product quality standards in pursuit of the perfect batch. Meanwhile, operators overseeing offshore assets might utilise alarm data to identify the stroking of ESD valves, thereby reducing the duration of planned shutdowns.

Despite the potential rewards, why do we not see more companies harnessing their alarm data in unique and innovative ways?

One plausible explanation lies in the fundamental purpose of alarms which is: to alert operators to abnormal situations. As a result, alarm messages are typically crafted with elements that serve this core objective, promptly notifying operators of potential issues. These messages typically comprise a unique identifier, a description, a status, a priority, and other pertinent attributes to inform operators about the issue at hand.

To fully leverage alarm data in a digitalisation strategy, it’s imperative to tailor alarms for their intended audience and purpose. This necessitates retooling alarms to ensure they are easily digestible and relevant across different facets of the business. For instance, a water company seeking to centralise operations for cost reduction and deeper insights may face challenges when trying to discern the source of alarms generated across various sites. Here, the incorporation of metadata proves invaluable. By appending location information such as, region, site name, or other categorisation data to alarm and events, companies can effortlessly identify the source of each alarm, facilitating streamlined operations.

Crucially, it’s vital not to compromise the functionality of alarms that are essential for operators managing abnormal situations. This underscores the importance of leveraging alarm historian tools like ProcessVue to add metadata seamlessly. ProcessVue employs Comma Separated Value (CSV) lookup files to augment alarms with additional metadata, provided there exists a unique identifier within the messages.

A single line in the CSV file can be used to add multiple fields to your alarm and event data. The image below depicts an alarm enrichment CSV file containing location data that would help a water company understand where their alarms are generated and by what equipment.

In this example the water company could aggregate their alarm data with confidence knowing they can pinpoint exactly where the alarm originated and what piece of equipment generated the alarm.

Below is an example of the enriched alarm data with the new information on display.

Enriched alarm data opens avenues for unlocking new analytical capabilities. For instance, companies can identify failing equipment, monitor alarm frequencies based on groups, or analyse alarm demographics by category. The potential applications for enhanced alarm management with metadata are virtually limitless, ranging from monitoring environmental alarms to identifying ESD valves to help streamline operations on oil platforms.

Incorporating metadata into alarms represents a significant leap forward in enhancing their functionality and utility. By providing context, personalisation, prioritisation, integration, and analytical insights, metadata transforms alarms from mere notifications into intelligent tools that empower continuous improvement processes and help drive efficiency and productivity.

Watch the video below to learn more about implementing alarm enrichment features in ProcessVue Analyser 4.0′.

Do more with your data!

Play Video about implementing alarm enrichment features in ProcessVue Analyser 4.0

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