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Are You Sure?

Last night, one of the compressors tripped and was restarted. Due to the way it tripped and got restarted, the machine logic got stuck and generated a couple of extra alarms.

Luckily, the alarm response manual stated how to fix one of them. Are you sure? Unfortunately the logic of that system is so complicated, nobody trusts it to act properly. Myself and one of my colleagues independently went through the logic independently, checking what all the outcomes of our change would be. We both came to the same conclusion, that the comment in the alarm manual would fix the problem.

But we still had to inform the operator, shift supervisor, shift manager, local asset engineer and asset manager. Are you really sure? Everyone was nervous about touching the system. Really really sure?

We were constantly being asked "what is the harm in leaving it as it is?" The truth is that we don't know. We don't know what the logic will or won't do because it is in the wrong state. It shouldn't be in that state, there is an alarm to warn you about it and there is a method of "fixing"it.

But we couldn't give them that 100% assurance that we wouldn't inadvertently trip the compressor. And so people were still reluctant to let us fix it.

After some time we did attempt the fix. It worked exactly as we expected.

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