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Alarm Management Dashboards are Great Tools for Organizing and Monitoring Plant Data

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Alarm and event management is a boon to many users, but especially to engineers and operators who desire greater visibility into plant operations. Customized for the type of user, people in the facility can view the alarms and events that are most applicable to their daily decisions and tasks.

For example, in the food industry, if an oven alarm is consistently sounding, it will prompt users to investigate. Once identified, users can determine the source of the problem, which might be an oven belt speed malfunction. In this instance, if the oven belt moves too slowly, baked goods will burn, and the batch will have to be tossed.

Connecting People and Organizing Alarm Data

Dashboards are convenient tools to bridge the gap between coworkers as well as between people and machines. They turn relevant information into sharable insights as the intelligence of machines increases productivity. Useful data potential is limitless and might include the total number of alarms in a system, the number of suppressed alarms and/or alarm counts filtered by criteria such as severity, priority or frequency.

By connecting people throughout the plant, and then connecting machines, alarm dashboards help increase visibility, so manufacturers can make comparisons and observations across plant locations. Insights like these better inform decision makers and encourage collaboration between manufacturers and users.

Alarm data is easy to share in part because these dashboards have great built-in setups. Consider, for example, the heat map, which shows the top ten alarms in the plant and how they’re trending. From that dashboard view, users can drill down and view which machine alarm sounded and at what time.

While drilling down, users can choose among various options to summarize alarm data including charts, graphs, histograms, etc. Using different display options can help to more clearly report, monitor and observe trends over time.

Alarm data and organizational tools make data easier to view and comprehend, and encourage dashboard sharing. To organize, users can focus on specific alarms and machines, adding and removing filters to focus attention on only the data that directly impacts the machine experiencing an event.

Get Connected, Get Started

Providing a dashboard for alarm management information helps users access data easily and quickly, without specific training or expertise. Because visualization tools are built into InnovationSuite, you do not need to program your dashboards.

Users save time and can quickly pull together what they want to see, such as dimensions and numeric summaries, find averages or calculate the standard deviation. Dimensions are used to slice and dice alarm data, making it possible to view specifics, such as the number of alarms per batch or alarm durations.

To maximize ease of use, most tools and capabilities are built into the dashboards, but advanced users can still work with prediction functions and create their own calculations or custom fields on top of existing alarm data. In addition, via a quick drop-down, users can pull data into custom summary tables, pivot tables and prediction functions, to enhance organization and visualization even further.

Coming Up Next

Alarm management dashboards, like all of our dashboards, are created to make life simpler and more manageable for users. There are thousands of machines, data points and workers to keep track of in a plant, so we create dashboards to help make sense of it all.

Keeping the pulse of the automation system’s health is a major role for the alarm dashboard. And all the information collected in the dashboard keeps track of the hundreds of alarms users may have in their system.

If you’d like to discuss further benefits, please subscribe to our monthly newsletter and keep up with our dashboard blogs throughout 2019 here.

Jennifer Kite
Jennifer Kite
Senior Information Software Technical Consultant, Rockwell Automation
Jennifer Kite

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