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PlantPAx Alarm Configuration

for FactoryTalk View SE and ME 6.0

1 Introduction
This document describes the steps required to create FactoryTalk View alarms for a
PlantPAx Library Add-On Instruction (AOI) instance. Recommended procedures are
provided for FactoryTalk View SE Alarm and Event Tag-based alarms and for
FactoryTalk View ME alarms.
PlantPAx Library Add-On Instructions use instances of the P_Alarm AOI within them for
alarm handling. For example, the P_Motor AOI uses four P_Alarm instances, for:

Fail to Start

Fail to Stop

Interlock Trip

I/O Fault

The following examples show how to create the HMIs Fail to Start alarm for an
instance of the P_Motor instruction. The Fail to Start alarm uses a P_Alarm instance
(Local Tag) named FailToStart. See Chapter 1 of the Reference Manual for each
PlantPAx Library AOI for the names of all of its P_Alarm instances.
The methods described in this document are used to configure any alarm for PlantPAx
Library Add-On Instructions. However, once youve created a few alarms and tested
them to make sure they work properly, you may want to:

Export the alarm database to XML or XLS format,

Do bulk generation of alarms for your project in a familiar application like

Microsoft Excel by copying, pasting and renaming / modifying alarms.

Save the bulk alarm data in the same format as you exported.

Import the alarm data into the HMI projects alarm database.

Finally, go online with the HMI project and test the alarms you created.

Instructions for exporting and importing alarms are provided in the online Users Guide
for FactoryTalk View SE or ME, available from the Help menu in FactoryTalk View

2 Use with FactoryTalk Alarms and Events

This section describes the steps required to configure a PlantPAx Alarm on a FactoryTalk
Alarm and Event server. FactoryTalk Alarm and Event services are used on FactoryTalk
View SE projects.
In this example:










For FactoryTalk Alarm and Events, all alarms in the PlantPAx Library use Digital
Alarms in the Alarm and Event setup, one Digital Alarm per P_Alarm instance.

2.1 Add a Digital Alarm

To add an alarm, open the Alarm and Event Setup window and select the New toolbar
button to create a new digital alarm:

An empty Digital Alarm Properties window is displayed for the new alarm.

2.2 Digital Alarm Configuration

On the Digital tab of the Alarm Properties window, configure the alarm as follows:

Name: The alarm name should include a unique designator for the object as well as a
short description of the alarm. In this example the alarm name for the Fail to Start
alarm is P50_Motor_Alm_FailToStart, where P50_Motor identifies the
P_Motor object and Alm_FailToStart identifies the alarm.
Input Tag: In the PlantPAx Library, objects with alarms have an alarm status for each
alarm. The alarm status parameter name starts with the prefix Alm_. This parameter
should be used for the Input Tag. In this example, the P50_Motor tags Fail to Start
alarm status has the parameter name Alm_FailToStart. Thus the complete input tag
name for this example is:


A simple method to generate the alarm name, especially in a bulk edit tool like
Excel, is to remove the communication path (shortcut) and replace the dot
(.) separating the tag name and the alarm status parameter name with an
underscore (_).
For this example, Input Tag:
becomes alarm name:

Condition: Select Input <> 0

Severity: IMPORTANT The alarm severity in the alarm configuration must be set to
align with the severity in the controller and shown on the HMI faceplate. Note that
changing the alarm severity from the faceplate DOES NOT automatically change the
severity in the FactoryTalk Alarm and Event database.
Severity values used in the PlantPAx sample applications are:
Severity on
1 (Information)

Severity in
A&E Configuration

2 (Warning)


3 (Exception)


4 (Fault)


Minimum Duration: The Minimum Duration should be set to zero. Alarm on-delay
and off-delay timing is handled by the controller.
Latched Checkbox: Leave the Latched checkbox unchecked. Alarm latching (Reset
Required) is handled by the controller.
Acknowledge Required Checkbox: Be sure the Acknowledge Required checkbox is
checked. Alarm auto-acknowledgement for alarms configured as Ack Not Required is
handled by the controller.
Show Alarm as Tag Checkbox: Leave the Show Alarm as Tag checkbox unchecked.
Message: The Message may be configured as required by the end user.
Associated Tags: Associated Tags may be configured as required by the end user.

Alarm Class: The Alarm Class may be configured as required by the end user for alarm
grouping and filtering.
FactoryTalk View Command: The FactoryTalk View Command is executed when the
alarm is double-clicked in the Alarm Summary. If you wish to call up the faceplate for a
particular object when its alarm is double-clicked, configure the FactoryTalk View
Command as Display {faceplate display name} /TPath object}. In this example, the
command is:
Display "(RA-BAS) P_Motor-Faceplate" /T[Mosquito]P50_Motor

2.3 Digital Alarm Status Tags

The Status Tags configuration allows disable/enable, suppress/unsuppress and
acknowledge status updates made on the FactoryTalk Alarms and Events Alarm
Summary and Alarm Status Explorer screens to be sent to the controller:

On the Status Tags tab of the Alarm Properties window, configure the alarm as
Disabled Tag: Enter Path Object.Sts_ AlarmDisabled for the Disabled
Tag. In this example, the Disabled Tag is:
Suppressed Tag: Enter Path Object.Sts_ AlarmSuppressed for the
Suppressed Tag. In this example, the Suppressed Tag is:
In Alarm Tag: Leave the In Alarm Tag field blank
Acknowledged Tag: Enter Path Object.Ack_ Alarm for the Acknowledged
Tag. In this example, the Acknowledged Tag is:

NOTE: The Alm, Ack, Suppressed and Disabled elements are all public, browsable
Parameters of the P_Motor Add-On Instruction.

NOTE: Even though they are flagged as Output Parameters in the Add-On definition,
the Ack, Suppressed and Disabled Parameters are configured to be writable (Read/Write,
not Read Only) so the Alarm and Event Server can send these bits to the controller.

2.4 Digital Alarm Control Tags

The Control Tags configuration allows alarm acknowledgements made in the controller
and using the Faceplates to be read by FactoryTalk Alarm and Events.

Entering the Acknowledge Tag in this tab allows the acknowledgement from the
controller (and the faceplate) to acknowledge the alarm in FactoryTalk Alarms and
Ack Tag: Enter Path Object.Ack_ Alarm for the Acknowledge Tag. In this
example, the Acknowledge Tag is:

NOTE: This is the same as the Acknowledged Tag on the Status Tags tab.
The completed configuration is shown below.

3 Use with FactoryTalk View ME

This section describes the steps required to configure a PlantPAx Library Alarm in
FactoryTalk View ME for use with PanelView Plus and other FactoryTalk View ME
As with the example in the previous section, in this example:









3.1 Create a New Alarm Trigger

First, call up the FactoryTalk View ME Alarm Setup.

With the Triggers tab selected, click Add to create a new alarm trigger. An empty
Trigger entry box appears.

Click the ellipsis button under Tag to open the Tag Browser.

In the left-hand frame, navigate to the folder representing the Add-On Instruction
instance. Then, in the right-hand frame, double-click the alarm status parameter for the
You can use the folder for the offline controller or, if you are connected to the actual
hardware controller on a network and the controller application is leaded, you can use the
online folder.
NOTE: The alarm status parameters name starts with Alm_. For this example, the
parameter is Alm_FailToStart.
The selected alarm status parameter is entered in the Tag or expression field of the
Trigger popup. Click OK to accept.

Next, click the ellipsis button in the Tag column for the Ack row:

Using the Tag Browser, select the acknowledge status parameter for this item. Repeat for
the Remote Ack row of the table. Your setup should look like this:

The Ack parameter must be changed so it triggers the Operator Acknowledge

Command, which is part of the alarms Local Tag within the Add-On Instruction.
Because this parameter is in a Local Tag, it is not browsable. But the FactoryTalk View
ME HMI can still write to it.
To change the Ack parameter, click within the Tag or expression on this row to get a
text entry cursor, then manually type the change. The format of the expression changes
Path Object.Ack_ Alarm
Path Object. Alarm.OCmd_Ack

NOTE: This change can be made to the entire alarm database by exporting the alarms
and making the changes with a bulk editing tool, then importing the changes. Simply
find and replace every Ack tag occurrence of:

Perform a similar find and replace for each type of alarm: FailToStop, IOFault, etc.

NOTE: Be careful in performing the find and replace that you dont change the
RemoteAck entries.

3.2 Configure the Alarm Message

Now select the Messages Tab in the Alarm Setup window.
In the Trigger column, choose an empty row and click the pull-down. Select the Trigger
you just created.

In the other columns, make entries as follows:

Trigger Value: Enter 1 (the digit one).
Message: Enter the Message you want to appear when the alarm occurs.
See the Help for additional information on setting up alarm messages, including
instructions for embedding variables in your messages.

3.3 Configure Notification Options

On the Messages tab, scroll the display to the right to show the remaining columns. Then
configure the notification options for this Trigger.
Display: Leave this box checked so the alarm will pop up the [ALARM] Display and
show the alarm to the operator when the alarm occurs.

Audio: Check this box if you want a sound to play from the HMI terminals speakers
when the alarm occurs.
Print: Check this box if you have a printer attached to the HMI terminal (directly or via
network) and you want the alarm to print when the alarm occurs.
Message to Tag: It is recommended that you leave this box unchecked.

Background and Foreground: Select the colors used to display the alarm on the alarm
summary. The colors selected should match the alarm severity:

Foreground Background

1 (Information)



2 (Warning)


Bright Yellow

3 (Exception)


Bright Red

4 (Fault)


Bright Magenta

Go back to the Triggers tab to create the next alarm, or click OK to save the Alarm Setup.