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Natural gas utility selects alarm management software suite

08 October 2013

A US-based natural gas distribution utility company has selected MAC Solutions' ProcessVue software suite to manage and report on process alarms across its operation.

Initially, the solution will interface with the gas utility company’s legacy control system, which is being upgraded over the next 12 months. The gas utility company provides natural gas services to more than 150,000 customers.

The contract was awarded to UCDS (User Centered Design Services), MAC Solutions’ distribution partner for ProcessVue in the USA. The company will manage meeting US regulatory requirements at the customer’s control room facilities, ensuring that the correct software and control systems are in place to support this.

There were two primary reasons for selecting ProcessVue. The company’s existing alarm management software was written by one of its SCADA programmers. The software meets the criteria for PHMSA (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) but could not supply the reporting needs that the customer required. The system could pull raw data and categorise this but lacked the proper analysis, report generation, automation and a means of transferring the actions taken back into the main SCADA database. The customer did consider other alarm management software applications, but ProcessVue was the most cost-effective in terms of implementation and annual support.

ProcessVue is said to provide clear, relevant and prioritised information to plant operators, supervisors and managers, enabling them to make better-informed decisions about their processes and plant safety. The software combines the latest communication, data-logging and reporting technologies. It can be used as a standalone application or to bring together multiple disparate systems onto one common platform.

Features include advanced KPI reporting based on EEMUA 191 guidelines; alarm rationalisation (locating ‘bad actors’ and ‘nuisance alarms’); Sequence of Event and real time display in web browser; alarm system benchmarking; alarm and event analysis; and alarm and event archiving.


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