Five Easy Ways to Improve the User Alarm Management Experience

Five Easy Ways to Improve the User Alarm Management Experience

Maximize your SCADA alarms.

By: Allan Evora

Article originally posted by CSIA Exchange.

Most argue that alarming is one of the benefits that makes SCADA so valuable. Why then, do so many SCADA systems feature poorly designed and overly complicated alarm handling systems?

There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to SCADA alarming.

An alarm management system that allows an owner to effectively and efficiently manage their facility, process, and assets requires a significant investment in up-front planning by both the owner (or the owner's designated engineering representative) and the control systems integrator. Decisions need to be made during the SCADA alarm design process regarding naming conventions, alarm priorities, alarm groups, escalation, and other alarm handling system design criteria.

At Affinity Energy, we find the most successful deployments occur when we have the opportunity to discuss alarming early in the design process, versus using generic SCADA specifications as the basis for our design.

Even when armed with proper tools, the experience an operator has with a SCADA alarm will only be as good as the investment that goes into planning and designing the system.

SCADA alarming shouldn’t be a burden operators have to live with.

Today's modern SCADA system has very powerful alarm management capabilities. Most SCADA solutions provide a wealth of tools that allow us to customize the SCADA experience to the owner's work process.

But ultimately, it’s up to owners to demand better system integration, and up to system integrators to provide optimized solutions based on detailed planning and dialogue with the owner.

Follow the link for five easy ways to improve the user alarm management experience and make an operator's job a bit easier.

To keep reading, click here.


Need help from a control systems integrator who understands SCADA alarming best practices? Let us help.



Allan Evora - Founder | Affinity EnergyAllan D. Evora is a leading expert in control systems integration and president of Affinity Energy with over 20 years of industry experience working in every capacity of the power automation project life cycle. With a background at Boeing Company and General Electric, Allan made the decision to establish Affinity Energy in 2002. Allan is an alumnus of Syracuse University with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, graduate of the NC State Energy Management program, and qualified as a Certified Measurement & Verification Professional (CMVP).

Throughout his career, Allan has demonstrated his passion for providing solutions. In 1990, he developed FIRST (Fast InfraRed Signature Technique), a preliminary design software tool used to rapidly assess rotary craft infrared signatures. In 2008, Allan was the driving force behind the development of Affinity Energy's Utilitrend; a commercially available, cloud-based utility resource trending, tracking, and reporting software.

Allan has been instrumental on large scale integration projects for utilities, universities, airports, financial institutions, medical campus utility plants, and manufacturing corporations, and has worked with SCADA systems since the early ‘90s. A passion for data acquisition, specialty networks, and custom software drives him to incorporate openness, simplicity, and integrity into every design in which he is involved.