Shelving alarms in E3Alarm.

Introduction

The recently launched Elipse E3 version 5.5. has implemented new alarms shelving and managing settings for E3Alarm. These adjustments took place due to the new ISA 18.2 Standard (International Society of Automation), whose main goal is to handle the development, installation, and management of alarm systems in process industries.

Alarms managements systems comprise many different stages, which make up what we call the “alarms management lifecycle”. Therefore, ISA 18.2 Standard aims at providing a methodology that results in improved security in process industries.

Improvements

Next, we will take a look at a few improvements that come with Elipse E3 version 5.5.

According to the standard, a “shelved” alarm means the operator has issued a command to temporarily suppress it. So, the Alarms Shelving option allows temporarily removing alarms from the current summary. This, in turn, allows the operator to manage only visible alarms, muting the others while fixing an issue or concentrating on more important alarms.

Alarms leave the suppression state either via operator command or automatically when they reach their expiry date.

When the operator unshelves an alarm, it will return to the summary as an acknowledged alarm. If automatically unshelved due to the expiry date, it will return as unacknowledged.

Settings

You can also set up users permissions for alarm shelving. These permissions work similarly to the ones for alarm acknowledgement.

At the settings window for Alarm Sources, there is an option that determines whether alarms can be filed, as well as their longest duration time and the most times it can be shelved.

By default, alarm shelving options are Shelve Alarms and Unshelve Alarms, available at E3Alarm’s context menu. However, these options are not available if AllowShelveAlarms property is set up as False.

When you click Shelve Alarms, the following dialog box pops up.

To do so, you will need to choose a valid duration time for shelving (longer than 0) and specify the reason. Otherwise, the operation won’t be allowed. For the shelving itself, the logged user must have permission to Shelve Alarms.

You can’t shelve events, only alarms, and this operation doesn’t generate errors. To edit the display at the alarms summary (shelved and unshelved), you can use CustomFilter property, which allows informing a customized filter for the alarms, with the option for filtering shelved alarms or not (Shelved = true/false).

Properties

The following properties were added to alarms, and all of them are saved at fields in the database:
  • AllowShelving: indicates permission to shelve alarm.
  • Shelved: indicates shelved alarm.
  • ShelvedTime: indicates time of shelving.
  • ShelvedOutTime: indicates time of unshelving.
  • ShelveDuration: indicates how long is the shelving.
  • ShelveMaxDuration: indicates the longest time allowed for shelving.
  • ShelveActorID: indicates operator responsible for shelving/unshelving.
  • ShelveMaxCount: indicates most shelvings allowed for this alarm.
  • ShelveCount: indicates how many shelvings took place so far.
  • ShelveReason: indicates why shelving took place.

Attached to this article is a demo application developed with Elipse E3 v5.5.192 that illustrates Alarm Shelving in greater detail. Attachments:

AlarmsShelved.zip

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