How to get on the road to Smart Machines: The ABC’s of Alarm Management

This audio was created using Microsoft Azure Speech Services

In an ideal world, a machine such as a coffee maker would typically only need to be programmed to manage the main functions of start, stop and make the coffee.  However, in reality a lot more can happen with this coffee maker during operation, for instance the water or coffee tank can often be empty or a cup can become jammed into the machine.  As with this everyday life example, unexpected event management is key for industrial machines, especially alarm management. And thus, it would not come as a surprise that there are several alternatives that can be adapted for use cases in industrial environments.

Have a look at the different solutions presented below along with the pros and cons of each option and then determine which one you feel would work the best for your application…

Solution 1: Alarm Management through HMI

Pro: Full list of alarms, details on the alarm content

Con: Long programming, cost and sizes of the screen not compatible with the most compact machines, visibility near the screen only


Solution 2: Remote Alarm on your Phone

Pro:  Remote monitoring with details on the alarm content

Con: Costly and high end system requiring programming and special infrastructure


Solution 3: Tower light & sirens

 Pro: Easier installation without programming, perfect to attract the attention of a distant operator.  This solution also enables the usage of MP3 files to give fully voiced messages like “feeder alarm, please replace the blue ink”.

Con: Not practical for compact machines or for operators very close to the machines


Solution 4:  Diameter 22 mounting buzzers and illuminated buzzers

Pro: Very cost effective, perfect to attract the attention of a nearby operator

Con:  No detail on the alarm, with only 1 alarm by buzzer



Here is your chance to talk to the expert…leave your questions and comments below on your best solution.

Or click here to learn more about Automation and Control solutions….


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  • Robert Brooker

    6 years ago

    A Schneider and Wonderware Partner Product, WIN-911, performs all the alarm notification functionality out of the box and integrates directly with the HMI (InTouch, System Platform, OPC, and others). With WIN-911 you can avoid the “costly programming and special infrastructure” as mentioned above in Solution 2. Micromedia’s ALERT product, which is more dominant in Europe, provides similar functionality.

    • Gregory Bouchery

      6 years ago

      Robert, Thank you for taking the time of sharing your experience.

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