Control Room Conceptual Design


Control Room Conceptual Design

Background

      • Are your control rooms old and in need of extensive refitting?
      • Maybe API-RP752 says your existing buildings are too close to the units and aren’t built to blast resistant standards impacting occupancy thresholds.
      • Maybe you’re about to invest in a major re-instrumentation project and would like to optimize your spending
      • Perhaps you’re thinking about building a central control room.
      • A lot of research has been done on managing abnormal situations while getting the most out of your console operators, and you would like to make sure you take full advantage of it.

Many companies have great project engineering personnel, but they lack the resources and experience in human behavior and limitations. When you design a control room for humans you have to incorporate human factors and user centered design with process control experience to make sure you’re getting the highest return on investment and getting the biggest benefit of dollars spent. Which Industrial Standards, Guidelines and Practices should be considered? You don’t want to create control rooms that have problems similar to your existing buildings. 24-hour shift operations require the best practices around ergonomics and human factors to ensure safe production.

You have a good Many companies have good Project engineering group personnel, but they lack the resources and experience in implementing type of project. Who has the resources to become an expert in field that you only invest in every 30 years? There has to be a better way of handling this type of project but how? What should you do? What should you not do? How do you make sure you’re getting the highest return on investment and getting the biggest benefit of dollars spent? Which Industrial Standards, Guidelines and Practices should be considered? You don’t want to create control rooms that have problems similar to your existing buildings. 24-hour shift operations require the best practices around ergonomics and human factors to ensure safe production.
Our Services and process provides a structured, rational way to begin a project that provides a properly designed control room. A well-designed control room can increase operator performance, reduce work-related stress, reduce human errors, improve safety, reduce upsets, slowdowns and shut downs, and contribute significantly to the bottom line.

Service Description

Our process begins with a few phone conversations to determine the scope of the project, and then we schedule a site visit. Typically, two representatives from UCDS will visit the site, depending on site size and project scope. These visits usually last a week although they may run longer or be staffed by more UCDS personnel if required.

During this initial visit, UCDS will conduct extensive interviews with a wide cross section of plant personnel from Senior Management to plant operators. This process generally will involve 60+ interviews. All interviews usually require an hour to perform and cover day organization and shifts. We prefer to interview Operators at their duty stations. This puts the operators more at ease, allows them to physically show us things important to them, and minimizes scheduling issues and overtime costs for the Client. We recommend early involvement of the Union, if applicable; we have developed a strong collaborative working relationship with PACE representatives and members over previous studies and frequently met with Union Reps at the start of the project.

After the site visit, UCDS will require a short period to analyze the data and generate a report. This report will contain a full analysis of the results of the interviews, including recommendations on dozens of areas to be considered during the project including:

            • Developing a shared vision by defining the needs and requirement or your organization

            • What is Management’s vision for the site

            • Who’s in the building and who’s out?

            • What sort of facilities should be included?

            • What types of fatigue countermeasures should be used?

            • What rooms are required?

            • What should the room adjacencies be?

            • What do you do with your existing buildings?

            • Determining the best locations, number and style of control room(s)

            • Safety, environmental, security

            • Local or remote

            • Single central control room or multiple remote control rooms

            • Functional layout or theater layout

            • Within the battery limits or outside

            • Reviewing your current practices and how they will be impacted by a new facility

            • Expectations of Operators

            • Organization and Culture

            • Impact on existing Management systems (procedures, training…)

            • Identifying areas to improve the operator’s ability to detect, diagnose and respond to an abnormal situation.

            • Impact and potential re-use of existing console furniture

            • Ergonomics

            • HVAC and Lighting

            • Noise control

            • Traffic flow

Also included will be a conceptual bubble diagram of possible new building room concepts and adjacency relationships for all identified rooms in the building, preliminary room sizes if known, and an order of magnitude budget for the next phase of the project. This is not a full list and does not have the details for room size, which would be difficult to do as the customer may not know space requirements such as how many computers in the computer room at this point in the project but is good for a ± 30% budget figure. We allow for a couple of edits of this document after site review. If desired, UCDS can return to the site to present our findings to Management.

For additional information or to book a study please E-mail us at: sales@mycontrolroom.com



© 2013 User Centered Design Services

Technical

UCDS has in-depth experience in designing control rooms and modifying existing field shelters. Our process is compliant with the ISO 11064 Ergonomic Design Standard for Control Buildings. We interview management, supervision and a significant group of the operators to understand functional requirements, what works well in the existing environment, and identification and correction of problems with the existing design. To learn more Click Here

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Situation Awareness

Abnormal situations encompass a range of events outside the “normal” plant operating modes, e.g. trips, fires, explosions, toxic releases or just not reaching planned targets. In the past incidents such as Piper Alpha, Milford Haven, Flixborough, Texas City and the 2003 northeast electrical blackout have all been attributed, at least in part, to a fundamental lack of good situational awareness. Early work of the Abnormal Situation Management Consortium® included a survey of the US petrochemical industry. Based on their research the consortium estimates industry losses of around $20 billion per year from abnormal situations, approximately equal to the total annual profits of that industry. Furthermore these studies indicate that companies achieving Best Practices in operations can improve productivity by 5-12%. To learn more Click Here

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Fatigue Alertness Management

We have many customers looking to enhance their shift handover procedures and follow some of the Recommended Practices identified in the API documents; others are focusing attention on fatigue and fatigue countermeasures. We have great solutions for both these topics. For more details please contact Steve Maddox. To learn more Click Here

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Behavior

User Centered Design Services promotes Behavior – Based Safety which is a process that helps employees identify and choose safe behavior over an unsafe one. Safety in the workplace is a combination of three measurable components – the person their environment, and their behavior. To learn more Click Here

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About the Control Room Operator Performance Group

The purpose of this group is to share ideas and solutions that contribute to improving the performance of the control room operator. Abnormal situations can be managed safely and effectively if we provide our operators with the right training, workload, environment, and interfaces.