Buying an alarm annunciator can be a daunting task without a roadmap. This 8-step list should give you a simple start to get your research going in the right direction.
- Figure out if your alarm system is required to have its own logic or will act as a mimic display (no logic) that is driven from an external source. If you're looking for the latter, then direct your search to a "lamp box" or "LED cabinet." If logic is required (meaning your operators response is dictated by a programmed logic sequence), read on - you're in the right place.
- Select Chassis type based on install environment. Panel-mount, surface-mount or rack-mount are the top three standard types.
- Write down number of alarm points you need to monitor which will also help assess the annunciator's size.
- Determine if pushbuttons are needed.
- Measure the current control panel, cabinet or field space you have available so you can communicate to the manufacturer your dimensions.
- Decide if you will need the following key features:
- Ethernet capability for communication to your process controller such as a DCS
- Software configurability for ability to set or re-configure annunciator features in the field
- Event Recording for analysis of alarm history such as time of alarm, order of alarms, etc.
Looking for more details? Check out the 10-page Annunciator Systems Buyer's Guide for more information.