• Craig Drabyk

Preventing Costly Failures with Skid and Vendor Equipment Alarms


It often comes to light during startup and commissioning that alarms for critical process equipment have been overlooked. DI, WFI, nitrogen, compressed air, vacuum, process HVAC, ATC, environmental chambers, etc., to name a few, require constant monitoring to avoid problems and failures that can come at an extreme cost.


There are two main types of vendor equipment alarms, discrete and analog. Most alarm points are discrete (on/off) with dry contacts. Analog alarms measure variables such as temperature and can be programmed to alert at set parameters. Discrete alarms are the most common, and some equipment can employ both types.


Skids and vendor equipment usually utilize a combination of critical alarms programmed to a central alarm. A general alarm is triggered when an anomaly occurs, alerting personnel at the front end to dispatch a technician ASAP to the equipment to determine the problem using a displayed LCD diagnostic code and resolve the issue. If alarms are not connected or properly tested, critical equipment can go down unnecessarily and without warning, and production and financial consequences can be great.


Alarms are important and relatively inexpensive insurance that should never be a project afterthought. Identify critical points of failure early on in every project and ensuring that they are alarmed, tested, and monitored 24/7 to prevent catastrophes in the future.


About Omni


Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Services, Inc., located in New Jersey and Maryland, is a premier instrumentation and electrical contractor, providing superior total care solutions since 1986. Services include instrument installation, tubing installation, instrument calibration, control loop testing, startup and commissioning, power and lighting, process control wiring, BMS wiring, telecommunications and data wiring, fire alarm wiring, security wiring, process network wiring, and control panel fabrication. Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Services, Inc., is certified in Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus, DeviceNet and ASI-Bus installation.

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