Using a Honeywell Paperless Recorder as an Alarm Annunciation Panel

Written by: Dan Weise

It’s surprising to me how many Honeywell Trendview recorders are used primarily for alarming. People tell us that they like the alarm screens on the old-style annunciation panels. On a digital recorder, they look like this:

Paperless Recorder as an Alarm Annunciation Panel

Users say “It’s easy to tell at a glance, which points are in alarm because the red really stands out. And the process values show up right there under the tag. Everything we need is in one place”

Each block is a specific input ‘pen’. Each triangle is an alarm on that pen. A triangle pointing down is a low alarm; a triangle pointing up is a high alarm. PV: is the process value.

The one limitation of the earlier X series recorders, was the alarm screens were static. If there were more alarms than fit on a single screen, an operator had to use the ‘next’ navigation button (in the lower right in the screen shot above) to bring up a second or third alarm screen.

The recent model change to the GR series uses the same alarm screen format, but the display can be configured to cycle between alarm screens. Now, two or three alarm screens can automatically cycle at set intervals (cycle time is configurable)

Any other process screens, trends, digital or bar graphs, can be accessed from the screen list, as needed.

Paperless Recorder Screen List

Screen List

I’ve asked those who use a recorder for alarming why they chose a recorder over using a PLC with an HMI panel. Their common response is:

  • They don’t have to know any programming to make an alarm screen. The alarm screens are standard and populate automatically as alarms are configured.
  • They can add, delete or edit alarm configurations as needed, from the recorder touchscreen, without software or the skills of a systems integrator. It’s all menu selections. No code, no development software, no license.

Alarm notification covers the whole spectrum – a relay output to a klaxon, a strobe, an auto-dialer, or a remote annunciator at the guard desk. Plus, with the new recorders, notifications can be sent via email and/or text message.

Not everyone needs historical trending for regulatory or compliance purposes, but a good number of recorder users fall into that category. For them, a recorder combines historical data trending and real-time alarming without needing a systems integrator to get it up and running or to make incremental changes over time.

Want to learn more?

Check my other blog posts on Honeywell paperless recorders

Compare features of the Honeywell paperless recorders at

Lesman Instrument Company is the authorized Honeywell stocking distributor in North and Central Illinois, Northern Indiana, Eastern Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. If you are located outside that area, you can find your local sales office or get technical assistance by visiting Honeywell’s contact page.


Dan Weise, Lesman Product SpecialistDan Weise, Lesman product specialist, is an instructor for training classes on process instrumentation hardware, software, and technology.

Dan has been involved in all facets of data acquisition and process instrumentation since 1978, from sales and commissioning to service and support. He’s a long-time member of ISA, and has been with Lesman since 1988.

In his words, Dan’s the guy “who reads all the manuals nobody else reads”. In Lesman customers’ words, he’s the trainer to call if you want to “cut to the SO WHAT of instrumentation”, so it’s easy to understand.

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