Gap Analysis



UCDS offers a full line of gap analysis services to evaluate your current plant condition, make realistic and achievable recommendations for improvement and aid you in implementing our recommendations. An integral part of this line is a set of gap analysis services that provide a detailed comparison of client systems to Best Practices and identify improvement opportunities. These services provide an excellent starting point for any site management system study. The gap analysis services are front loaded activities and can produce significant cost savings through the awareness of best and worst practices.

Currently we offer the following gap analysis services:

We are also happy to provide customized services based on any specific client requirements.

Workshops are typically an hour long. We prefer to interview Operators at their duty stations during morning and evening shifts. This puts the operators more at ease, and minimizes scheduling issues and overtime costs for the Client. The Client should plan on a significant number of personnel being interviewed during the visit, and budget the internal cost appropriately.

After the site visit, UCDS requires a short period to analyze the data and generate a report. This report contains a full analysis of the completeness of the current site policies, how those policies are implemented on site, and how those policies compare to Best Practice. If desired, UCDS can return to the site to present finding to Management.

For additional information or to book a gap analysis please Email us at:  sales@mycontrolroom.com
Back to the top

Control Room


Background

Are you thinking it is time to invest in your controls and control buildings but not sure where to start?

Many companies are moving to new consolidated centralized control rooms but this can be an expensive, multi-year commitment. An alternative may be to re-use the existing control rooms by undertaking extensive refitting, however, this will almost certainly lead to compromise and the cost may be close to that of a new building. So how do you decide how to proceed? Leveraging UCDS’s experience of involvement in over a hundred control room projects across multiple industry sectors around the world we can help in the decision process.

Driven by today’s demands for safer, more reliable, cost effective and efficient operations, control room designs are relying more heavily on automation and centralized supervisory control. The operator, however, has retained a critical role in making these systems work. Our methodology, based on the International Standard ISO 11064, ensures that all important aspects of the operation of a modern control room are considered. Our approach focuses on four main areas:

  • Developing a shared vision by defining the needs and requirement of your organization
  • Determining the suitability, number and style of control room(s)
  • Reviewing your current practices and how they will be impacted by proposed changes
  • Identifying areas to improve the operator’s ability to detect, diagnose and respond to abnormal situations, including:
    • Console Furniture
    • Ergonomics
    • HVAC and lighting
    • Noise Control
    • Traffic Flow

Service Description

We schedule a site visit to evaluate the existing control rooms. Typically, one or two representatives of User Centered Design Services visit the site for three to five days, depending on the number of control rooms. During the visit UCDS performs interviews with multiple representatives of those departments involved in the management, implementation, use, and maintenance of the control room. This typically includes: Senior Management, Department Management, Instrument Engineers, Instrument Supervisors and Technicians, Process Engineers, Training Supervisors, Trainers, Procedure Writers, Control System Engineers and Technicians, Operations Supervision (all levels,) Field and Console Operators, Health and Safety, and Process Safety Management.
Following the site visit we generate a report detailing the current state of the control room(s) along with identifying specific gaps versus Best Practices.
• For additional information or to book a workshop please E-mail us at: sales@mycontrolroom.com

Background

A poorly implemented Human-Computer interface (HCI) adds to workload, increases frustration, stress, and confusion, and can ultimately impact safety, reliability, production, and profitability. A properly implemented human-computer interface can reduce operator work load, improve situational awareness, and aid the operator in preventing minor deviations from becoming major incidents.

A properly implemented Human-Computer interface will also work hand in hand with alarm management initiatives. Better presentation of information to the operator improves overall situation awareness. This helps offset the perception operators frequently have that elimination of alarms from the DCS will reduce their ability track the status of the plant.

Recent research has identified that well implemented human-computer interface can improve operator performance in problem detection and resolution by as much as 25%. This reduces the amount of time the plant is running at less than optimal efficiency, thus improving the bottom line. This also reduces operator stress and improves employee relationships.

  • Does the following seem familiar?
  • Your operators claim they need 10 screens to operate the plant
  • Your graphics look cluttered
  • Your graphics are more colorful than a carnival
  • During an abnormal situation are your operators rapidly jumping between screens searching for the information they need
  • Your graphics developed page-for-page from the P&ID’s
  • Your graphics do not incorporate the latest research into cognitive processing

Service Description

We schedule a site visit to evaluate the human-computer interface system. Typically, one or two representatives of User Centered Design Services visit the site for three days. During the visit UCDS performs interviews with multiple representatives of those departments involved in the management, implementation, use, and maintenance of the human-computer interface. This typically includes: Senior Management, Department Management, Instrument Engineers, Instrument Supervisors and Technicians, Process Engineers, Training Supervisors, Trainers, Procedure Writers, Control System Engineers and Technicians, Operations Supervision (all levels,) Field and Console Operators, Health and Safety, and Process Safety Management.

Following the site visit we generate a report detailing the current state of the site human-computer interface along with identifying specific gaps versus Best Practices.
For additional information or to book a workshop please E-mail us at:  sales@mycontrolroom.com

Alarm Management

Background

A properly implemented alarm system can reduce operator work load, improve situational awareness and aid the operator in preventing minor deviations from becoming major incidents. A poorly implemented system adds to workload, increases frustration, stress, and confusion, and can ultimately impact safety, reliability, production, and profitability.

  • Does the following seem familiar?
  • During plant upsets are the alarms coming in so fast that your console operator has someone stand next to them and press the silence button
  • Your console operators pick their own alarms settings
  • Alarms are configured, but no one knows why they were set at that particular value
  • Your console operators only look at the screen when the alarm goes off
  • You have pages of disabled or standing alarms
  • Your site does not have a clearly written, well understood, and fully implemented alarm management philosophy
  • You are not alone, but before you go out and fix it you need to understand where you are today

Service Description

The gap analysis analyses the current state of your site’s alarm system, benchmarking it versus EEMUA, ISA and ASM® Best Practices.

The first step in the Assessment is to collect data on the current performance of the plant’s alarm system. There is commercially available software that manages and tracks the performance of the plant alarm system. If the Client already has this type of software, we can use the existing data. If the plant does not have this software UCDS can arrange to install the appropriate software during this data gathering period. If the Client would prefer to purchase this software for continuing use UCDS can recommend Vendors.

Next, we schedule a site visit to evaluate the current alarm system. UCDS will visit the site for three days. During the visit UCDS performs interviews with multiple representatives of the departments involved in the management, implementation, use, and maintenance of the alarm system. This typically includes: Senior Management, Department Management, Instrument Engineers, Instrument Supervisors and Technicians, Process Engineers, Training Supervisors, Trainers, Procedure Writers, Control System Engineers and Technicians, Operations Supervision (all levels,) Field and Console Operators, Health and Safety, and Process Safety Management. After the site visit and data analysis a report will be generated detailing the current state of the site alarm system along with identifying specific gaps versus Best Practices.

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

Back to the top

Management System

Background

All production facilities seek to continuously improve their operation particularly in the areas of Safety, Health, Environmental, Reliability, and Profitability. The staffs at these facilities commit tremendous time, effort and capital trying to improve policies, processes and procedures to gain a competitive advantage.

Butt are you working on the right things? What areas are best to concentrate on? Where is your facility weak? Where is it strong? What are the best in class performers doing? How can you get there?

This process allows Management a unique opportunity to gauge their site performance versus industry Best Practices. It will provide invaluable feedback to aid in focusing continuous improvement effort in areas where the greatest impact can be made.

The gap analysis can deliver the following results:

  • Employees understand what abnormal situations are, how often they arise, and why,
  • Processes effectively minimize the impact of abnormal situations,
  • Management’s communications of goals, processes, and status is effective and comprehensive,
  • Employees’ knowledge and skills are continuously and appropriately enhanced,
  • Employees work in a supportive culture, and in an appropriate and safe environment,
  • Management finds opportunities to innovate and apply technologies to continuously improve, and
  • The change that results from continuous improvement is well managed.

Service Description

User Centered Design Services is an associate member of the Abnormal Situation Management Consortium®; Ian Nimmo was previously the Program Director for the Consortium and led all of the benchmarking studies for the consortium. Through his involvement in numerous cross-industry site studies at Power Plants, Refineries, Petro Chemical and Iron and Steel manufacturing plants, he was instrumental in setting a standard for industry and in providing the Consortium with an Effective Practices Guideline. UCDS senior consultants David Lee and Rusty Fleming have extensive process plant and instrumentation experience with a practical background in operations leadership. We can bring this experience to your site in the form of a Management System Gap Analysis. For this analysis we’ll visit your site, talk to your personnel and compare how existing site policies are intended to work, how those policies actually work in the trenches, and how they compare to industry Best Practice.

The ASM Consortium Effective Practices Guidelines are organized under seven practice categories:

  • Abnormal Situation Understanding
  • Management Structure and Policy
  • Training and Skill Development
  • Communications
  • Procedure
  • Control Building Environment
  • Process Monitoring, Control and Support Applications

The Management System Gap Analysis performs an in-depth review of the following management systems:

  • Organization & Culture
  • Safety Policy & Risk Assessments
  • Procedures
  • Incident Investigation
  • Staffing
  • Operator Expectations
  • Training & skill development
  • Shift working practices & rotation
  • LOTO
  • MOC
  • HazOp/PHA
  • Management of Organizational Change (MOOC)
  • Alarm Management
  • Human Interface Design
  • Communications Practices
  • Human Factors & Control Building Work Space Design

The typical process for performing a Management System Gap Analysis starts with a few preliminary conversations to determine the particulars of the study. We can apply this methodology to a single facility or all facilities throughout a Client’s system.

We schedule a site visit to perform the Management System Gap Analysis. Typically two representatives from UCDS visit the site. During this process UCDS performs interviews with multiple representatives from the following areas: Senior Management, Department Management, Instrument Engineers, Instrument Supervisors and Technicians, Process Engineers, Training Supervisors, Trainers, Procedure Writers, Control System Engineers and Technicians, Operations Supervision (all levels), Field and Console Operators, Health and Safety, Process Safety Management, and Business Planning. These intervieControl Room

Background

Are you thinking it is time to invest in your controls and control buildings but not sure where to start?

Many companies are moving to new consolidated centralized control rooms but this can be an expensive, multi-year commitment. An alternative may be to re-use the existing control rooms by undertaking extensive refitting, however, this will almost certainly lead to compromise and the cost may be close to that of a new building. So how do you decide how to proceed? Leveraging UCDS’s experience of involvement in over a hundred control room projects across multiple industry sectors around the world we can help in the decision process.

Driven by today’s demands for safer, more reliable, cost effective and efficient operations, control room designs are relying more heavily on automation and centralized supervisory control. The operator, however, has retained a critical role in making these systems work. Our methodology, based on the International Standard ISO 11064, ensures that all important aspects of the operation of a modern control room are considered. Our approach focuses on four main areas:

  • Developing a shared vision by defining the needs and requirement of your organization
  • Determining the suitability, number and style of control room(s)
  • Reviewing your current practices and how they will be impacted by proposed changes

Identifying areas to improve the operator’s ability to detect, diagnose and respond to abnormal situations, including:

    • Console Furniture
    • Ergonomics
    • HVAC and lighting
    • Noise Control
    • Traffic Flow

Service Description

We schedule a site visit to evaluate the existing control rooms. Typically, one or two representatives of User Centered Design Services visit the site for three to five days, depending on the number of control rooms. During the visit UCDS performs interviews with multiple representatives of those departments involved in the management, implementation, use, and maintenance of the control room. This typically includes: Senior Management, Department Management, Instrument Engineers, Instrument Supervisors and Technicians, Process Engineers, Training Supervisors, Trainers, Procedure Writers, Control System Engineers and Technicians, Operations Supervision (all levels,) Field and Console Operators, Health and Safety, and Process Safety Management.

Following the site visit we generate a report detailing the current state of the control room(s) along with identifying specific gaps versus Best Practices.
For additional information or to book a workshop please E-mail us at: sales@mycontrolroom.com

Back to the top

Human Machine Interface (HMI)

UCDS will assess the current state of your site’s human-machine interface (HMI), benchmarking it against ASM® recommendations and industry Best Practices

We schedule a site visit to evaluate the human-computer interface system. Typically, one or two representatives of User Centered Design Services visit the site for three days.

During the visit UCDS performs interviews with multiple representatives of those departments involved in the management, implementation, use, and maintenance of the human-computer interface. This typically includes: Senior Management, Department Management, Instrument Engineers, Instrument Supervisors and Technicians, Process Engineers, Training Supervisors, Trainers, Procedure Writers, Control System Engineers and Technicians, Operations Supervision (all levels,) Field and Console Operators, Health and Safety, and Process Safety Management.

The HMI Gap Assessment covers the following issues:

  • Navigation
  • Display Hierarchy
  • Use of Colors
  • Window Management and Number of Screens
  • Integration of Trend and Alarm Information
  • Integration of Other information
  • Identification of Specific Display Objects
  • Intra-Display Communication and Coordination
  • Overview Display Design

Following the site visit we generate a report detailing the current state of the site human-computer interface along with identifying specific gaps versus Best Practices.

Benefits
A poorly implemented interface adds to workload, increases frustration, stress, and confusion, and can ultimately impact safety, reliability, production, and profitability. A properly implemented human-computer interface can reduce operator work load, improve situational awareness, and aid the operator in preventing minor deviations from becoming major incidents.

A well implemented human-computer interface can improve operator performance in problem detection and resolution by as much as 25%. This reduces the amount of time the plant is running at less than optimal efficiency, thus improving the bottom line. This also reduces operator stress and improves employee relationships.
Back to the top



© 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

×

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

×

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

×

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

×
×
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.