Alarm and Event data coming from DCS system is very crucial for any industry but the common issue with them is that they are huge amount of alarms and events getting generated and there is no mechanism to filter and analyse those alarms in proper graphical user interface .There are also standard guidelines provided by ISA to filter and analyse those alarms but usually this are not followed.Below is example where OSISoft PI Server was integrated with Siemens PCS7 DCS system and further used to develop the solution to analyse and showcase the A&E data in more meaningful way.


This Blog focuses only on the integration part of OSIsoft PI server and Siemens PCS7 server using PI OPC A&E interface.


PI OPC Alarm and Event interface is very good option to collect the Alarm and Event data from Source system in this case it is Siemens PCS7 system.

Step1: Install and configure PI Alarm and event interface as shown in below figure where we configure some of key parameters like Point source,interface ID and scan class

Step 2: Detect the existing Alarm and Event OPC Server on source system.

To check the existing the OPC Alarm and Event server on your source system,you may need to run this command and get the details of existing OPC Alarm and Event servers running on existing server.

Depending on OPC Server listed you will have to put the correct details in Server tab as highlighted below in this case.

Step 3: Defining the event categories

The third tab of Event categories is important step where you need to define which type of alarms and Event data that you would like to collect from data source.There are three type of events basically 1.Simple 2. Condition related and 3. Tracking event.You should get the csv file as below by executing the specific command (refer PI A& E interface user manual for more detail on this) and exported file should look like this.

This will give complete idea on which event categories and attributes that you may like to collect and accordingly you should mention the same in third tab of event categories

Step 4: Create service and configure other required parameters as further configuration will be same as we do for other PI interfaces.

Step 5 : Creating PI point

First step is to create string tag as Alarm and Event data will be stored only in string tag and then further as per the requirement on how you need to store the data you may further specify the same in Exdesc. For example as shown in below snapshot tag will store the A&E data in sequence of first Condition then subcondition,severity ,message and.. further as you specify.

Then specify the Location details as Location 1 will be your interface ID number,Location 2 will be derived from small calculation where event category filtering in a bit pattern needs to be mentioned.Location 3 depend on type of event data type that you would like to store.


Define the Instrument ID mapped to correct OPC item ID from Siemens PCS7 system.You can look for OPC Item ID into OPC scout tool provided by Siemens

Step 6 : Observer the current value in PI point that you created

You can observe the current value coming from Alarm and Event server where data is getting stored in PI tag where each attribute data is pipe separated.



OSISoft provides further infrastructure to use this alarm and event data and further analyse this data and showcase this data into more meaningful way on any GUI.


OSISoft Event frame functionality can be further leveraged to parse this Alarm and Event data and do analysis on the data that is getting stored.


Please provide your feedback or any comments on any of the steps mentioned above where i have tried to put forward my experience in very simple step wise manner for easier configuration and will try to answer if there any specific questions on same.


Thanks and Regards,

Nitin Daulatabad