July 4th , 2001
To: Afcon Software and Electronics, Ltd.
"How to make a great product better"
Dear Sarit Shpits
We know that you welcome a feedback from customers, so you can make a great product even better. In this letter we would like to add some items to the wish-list.
First some words about the status of the system at Svartsengi in Iceland:
The P-CIM at Svartsengi has been working well. Total number of points is about 8000, and total number of displays (including pop-up) about 700. We have grouped most alarms in to 4 priority groups according to seriousness (0=catastropic, 1=very important, 2=less important, and 3=event). The Advanced Alarm Handler is used along with data block interlocks to send text messages via a private radio pager to the operator. All almost 60 PLCs are constantly monitored with a separate PLC that listens to the “hearthbeat” or watchdog signal from them. This is very important, because some of the substations are far away (up to 20km), and some even connected via radio modems. This watchdog system even monitors all the five P-CIM data concentrators and the P-CIM network, and sounds an alarm if the communication with some station stops.
The system works so well now, that the whole power plant / distribution system is completly unmanned during the night, but the 2 operators are sleeping in a nearby house, - just in case. P-CIM wakes them up, if necessary.
Several years ago, we asked for one feature that you implemented to P-CIM. This is a variable delay that can be set on all alarms. Now all alarms at Svartsengi have a delay set to from 10 to 10.000 seconds. The reason for this very long delay is, that it is quite OK in some cases if say pressure drops for several minutes or even longer, but can have a serious effect if it drops for a long time (corrosion problems). The shorter time is good for eliminating glitches, that usually last only a scan or two. This alarm-delay has proved to be so effective, that alarms have been reduced by about 90%, and only real alarms get through. Of course the Daily Log is much cleaner, and unimportant, and even false, alarms do not mask the important ones. This small item has made P-CIM so much better!
Tel: +354-5687 555
Fax: +354-5687 556