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Alarm Management for Process Control by Douglas H. Rothenberg

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CHAPTER 2

Abnormal Situations

After plant startup, the cost challenges placed upon the ethical pursuit of lawful chemical manufacture can dwarf the chemical product line capitalization cost.

—William K. Lutz, Union Carbide

If production plants always behaved as expected, alarm systems would not be needed. If they mostly behaved as expected, alarm systems could be useful, but their design would be unimportant. Nature being unpredictable, people being less than perfect, equipment being vulnerable, and the market being fickle combine together to produce actual plant behaviors that exhibit all manner of usual and unusual effects. Therefore, well-designed alarm systems are an important first-line tool for operators. Even the most carefully designed ...

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