Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Industrial management: Avoiding alarms

Date:
August 27, 2014
Source:
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Summary:
An intelligent system that predicts when alarms might be triggered could greatly improve the management of industrial plants.

An intelligent system that predicts when alarms might be triggered could greatly improve the management of industrial plants.

Related Articles


A*STAR researchers have developed an anticipatory alarm system based on dynamic models of industrial processes using concepts similar to extreme weather forecasting.

A large industrial plant such as an oil refinery contains many interdependent units. In such a complex system, many things could potentially go wrong, which explains why engineers need sophisticated alarms to help them deal with abnormal situations. Having too many alarms, however, is almost as problematic as having none -- especially if all of the alarms go off at the same time.

Arief Adhitya and co-workers at the A*STAR Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences in Singapore and the National University of Singapore have developed a system that provides accurate short-term predictions of the state of the machinery in a plant, thus enabling operators to take action before alarms are triggered.

"With so many interacting units, a fault can trigger a domino effect, setting off a large number of alarms within a short time, known as an alarm flood. This can confuse and overwhelm an operator, who might then activate the emergency shutdown, which leads to a costly loss of production," says Adhitya. "Recent studies reveal that operators who are able to predict the evolution of the state of the plant are best able to cope with alarm floods."

Industrial alarm systems monitor large numbers of process variables -- such as the temperature or pressure in boilers -- and activate alarms if those variables go outside defined 'safe' ranges. Previous methods of dealing with alarm floods have included dynamic adjustments of alarm limits and screening of alarms to remove false or duplicate alarms.

Adhitya and co-workers went further. They combined detailed models of the industrial processes with historical data relating to machine behavior to estimate the rates of change of process variables. With this additional information, operators can assess when each variable is likely to trigger its alarm and can take evasive action.

The researchers tested their system with a case study of a depropanizer plant, which separates hydrocarbons of different sizes in an oil refinery. They simulated several faults, including loss of cooling water and fouling of the condenser, and found that their system predicted all the alarms successfully.

More importantly, the added information provided by their system reduced the diagnosis time for operators by around 35 seconds. The team is hopeful that their system could improve the efficiency of many different processes within and outside the oil industry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Shichao Xu, Arief Adhitya, Rajagopalan Srinivasan. Hybrid Model-Based Framework for Alarm Anticipation. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2014; 53 (13): 5182 DOI: 10.1021/ie4014953

Cite This Page:

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Industrial management: Avoiding alarms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140827213738.htm>.
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). (2014, August 27). Industrial management: Avoiding alarms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140827213738.htm
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Industrial management: Avoiding alarms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140827213738.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama Reveals Nuclear Breakthrough on Landmark India Trip

Obama Reveals Nuclear Breakthrough on Landmark India Trip

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 25, 2015) In a glow of bonhomie, U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveil a deal aimed at unlocking billions of dollars in nuclear trade. Pavithra George reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) In light of high-profile plane disappearances in the past year, the NTSB has called for changes to make finding missing aircraft easier. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iconic Metal Toy Meccano Goes Robotic

Iconic Metal Toy Meccano Goes Robotic

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 22, 2015) Classic children&apos;s toy Meccano has gone digital, releasing a programmable kit robot that can be controlled by voice recognition. The toymakers say Meccanoid G15 KS is easy to use and is compatible with existing Meccano pieces. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The VueXL From VX1 Immersive Smartphone Headset!

The VueXL From VX1 Immersive Smartphone Headset!

Rumble (Jan. 22, 2015) The VueXL from VX1 is a product that you install your smartphone in and with the magic of magnification lenses, enlarges your smartphones screen so that it&apos;s like looking at a big screen TV. Check it out! Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins