Control Systems Alarms on offshore rigs are inarguably poorly designed. Drilling Control Alarms Systems (DCAS) in particular, are notorious and the pack leaving much to be desired. Excessive alarm volumes on these Integrated Control Systems (ICS) lead to Driller alarm blindness and exceed all industry recognized standards. The problem is exacerbated by the general lack of a Human Machine Interface (HMI) console dedicated to the maintenance crews or other roles to leverage for equipment insight and preventative maintenance.

Because of these conditions, Drillers are inundated, and critical alarms are often ignored. Maintenance crews are reactive, resulting in missed preventative maintenance opportunities and equipment failure or non-productive time (NPT). The result is a general opinion that these DCAS are poorly designed, and the alarms themselves are not useful.

This paper will work to alter that perception through illustrating that the DCAS do indeed contain useful information if examined with the correct lens. Additionally, this paper shows that Drilling Contractors have the tools at their disposal to leverage this lens on any ICS. It will illustrate how that can be done, as well as discuss some of the best practices that Drilling Contractors ought to adopt to improve the capabilities of their DCAS.

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