Control Room Operators and the Key Hole Effect

(Costing Companies Millions of Dollars Per Year) The key hole effect is where we have an operator that is monitoring a process with several loops and several points. They have multiple screens and each screen has hundreds of graphics to navigate through. When there is a problem, alarms activate, the operator navigates through several graphics … Continued

50 Shades of (Grey Scaled Graphics)

Why Switch Your Rainbow Graphics to a Boring Shade of Grey? First of all, you’re not just changing the background color on your existing graphics, your reducing the number of graphics by incorporating human factors into the design, using analog objects, trends, and regrouping objects so that the graphics provide visual interpretation of what’s important … Continued

New Book – Control Room Design guide

We have recently released a new book on Control Room Design. Here is the summary: Since the introduction of distributed control systems into control rooms, the mining, refining, chemical, and power industries have lived with, and suffered from, many behavioral problems common with this design. When Human Factors/Ergonomic design is introduced into a centralized control … Continued

Podcast 12- Disasters and Emergencies Part 3

This is part 3 of a 3 part series where Ian Nimmo, president of User Centered Design Services, discuss Disasters, Diagnosis and Emergencies. To learn more about UCDS and Ian Nimmo please visit MyControlRoom.com

UCDS December 2015 News: Automation Safety Webinar

It has been a very different year for UCDS. Our traditional work patterns dramatically changed which meant we did a lot more travelling than usual. I started the year recovering from foot surgery for a snapped Achilles issue but managed to make a trip in March to Sweden to visit with CGM and work on … Continued

Podcast 11- Disasters and Emergencies Part 2

This is part 2 of a 3 part series where Ian Nimmo, president of User Centered Design Services, discuss Disasters, Diagnosis and Emergencies. To learn more about UCDS and Ian Nimmo please visit MyControlRoom.com

Podcast 10- Disasters and Emergencies Part 1

In this special 3 part episode Ian Nimmo, president of User Centered Design Services, discuss Disasters, Diagnosis, and Emergencies. If you would like more information about UCDS and Ian Nimmo please visit MyControlRoom.com

Borregaard Biorefinery Moves to a Centralized Control Room With the Help of UCDS

Borregaard biorefinery pulp and paper operation in Sarpsborg, Norway, was originally established in 1889. Over the years, significant investments have been made in the facility, including a new pulp-drying machine; new cutting, baling and, reeling equipment; and conversion of the bleaching plant to sulphite pulp. The original digester house, built in the early 1950s, was … Continued

Podcast 9- Staffing Studies Part 2

Ian Nimmo, President of User Centered Design Services, discusses the importance of proper staffing and workload levels in part one of this two part series. To learn more about UCDS and Ian Nimmo visit MyControlRoom.com

Podcast 8- Staffing Studies Part 1

Ian Nimmo, President of User Centered Design Services, discusses the importance of proper staffing and workload levels in part one of this two part series. To learn more about UCDS and Ian Nimmo visit MyControlRoom.com

Navajo Refining New Mexico Builds a New Training Center

The following was written by Bill Stephens of SourceGas. Navajo Refining Company is part of the HollyFrontier Corporation. We are an oil refining company located in southeast New Mexico. There are approximately 360 employees at our site. While in the development of a new Training Center, Navajo Refining needed design ideas. We contacted UCDS and they designed … Continued

Podcast 7- Workshops Part 2

Ian Nimmo continues his discussion of UCDS provided workshops in part 2 of 2. To learn more about UCDS and Ian Nimmo please visit, MyControlRoom.com

SourceGas Pipeline Complies with PHMSA 192.631

The following was written by Bill Stephens of SourceGas. SourceGas LLC (“SourceGas”) and its subsidiaries serve approximately 425,000 customers and operate over 19,340 miles of natural gas distribution, gathering and transmission pipeline, as well as storage facilities in Arkansas, Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. SourceGas and its subsidiaries also provide gas transportation, in-home HVAC and appliance service … Continued

Invista Embraces Situation Awareness and Control Room Design

The following was written by Driscoll Staley of Invista, describing his situation awareness and control room design experience with UCDS. The Victoria nylon plant was constructed over 60 years ago and remains a key global supplier of intermediates. Each production unit represents a different molecule required for nylon production and is operated as separate business unit. Control … Continued

Podcast 6- Workshops Part 1

In part 1 of a 2 part episode of the My Control Room Podcast, Ian Nimmo, president of User Centered Design Services, discusses the workshops provided by UCDS and the impact they can have on the functionality of a control room.

Sasol Lake Charles improves HMI with UCDS

The following was written by David Smith, Process Control Engineer at Sasol. Sasol is an international integrated energy and chemicals company that leverages the talent and expertise of our more than 32,400 people working in 37 countries. We develop and commercialize technologies, and build and operate world-scale facilities to produce a range of high-value product streams, including liquid … Continued

Podcast 5- Operator Fatigue Part 1

In this episode of the My Control Room Podcast Ian Nimmos discusses the damaging effects of operator fatigue and the ways companies can increase performance and decrease fatigue. To learn more about Ian Nimmo and UCDS please visit MyControlRoom.com

Rio Tinto Kennecott Case Study: Alarm Rationalization and Management, and More

The following was written by Matt Martin, Superintendent – Production Control of Rio Tinto Kennecott. At Rio Tinto Kennecott, we mine essential elements that make modern living possible. From medicine, food and shampoo, to cell phones, computers, CAT scans and hybrid electric cars, nearly everything you use today relies on materials that we produce. Our mine has … Continued

Podcast 4 – Gap Analysis Part 2

Ian Nimmo, president of User Centered Design Services, explores Control Room Gap Analysis in this episode of the My Control Room Podcast. This is Part 2 of a 2 part series of Control Room Gap Analysis. For more information about Ian and User Centered Design Services please visit MyControlRoom.com

Podcast 4 – Gap Analysis Part 1

Ian Nimmo, president of User Centered Design Services, explores Control Room Gap Analysis in this episode of the My Control Room Podcast. This is Part 1 of a 2 part series of Control Room Gap Analysis. For more information about Ian and User Centered Design Services please visit MyControlRoom.com

A Lasting Plan for Alarm Management

By Ian Nimmo and Stephen Maddox | Aug 18, 2015 Summary: A well-written alarm management philosophy defines procedures that allow your team to get alarms under control now and for the long haul. Alarm management seems to be a never-ending task: company X hires consultant Y to repair their badly designed and overloaded alarm management … Continued

Podcast 3 – Human Machine Interface

In this episode of the My Control Room Podcast Ian discusses Human Machine Interface and the importance of accurate and easy to read graphics. For more information about User Centered Design Services, Ian Nimmo and his team visit MyControlRoom.com

Learn more about our Staffing Studies

It is extremely important to ensure that when changes to the organization are made the safety of the facility is not compromised. As such we strongly recommend a Management of Organization Change study is undertaken. Based on recent incidents, and subsequent recommendations from investigations such as the Baker report, and legislation, such as that in … Continued

Podcast 2 – Alarm Management

In this episode of the MyControlRoom Podcast Ian discusses the importance of alarm management, and how the simplicity of color factors in to the performance of the operator. For more information as well as access to UCDS’s White Pages containing information on Safety and Alarm Management visit: http://mycontrolroom.com/download-pages/alarm-management-documents

Podcast 1- Get to know UCDS

Episode 1: In this episode Ian Nimmo shares how he started User Centered Design Services after spending decades in the field as an engineer and project manager for large scale corporations. Ian explores a few of the many services UCDS offers and what the future holds for the company. Ian and the team at UCDS … Continued

Video – How to Save Time and Money

Unplanned downtime, equipment damage, poor product quality, loss of life, these are just some of the results caused by abnormal situations. Control room operators are the first line of defense when abnormal situations occur, how quickly they identify problems and manage the situation depends on how well we have applied human factors in the work … Continued

With Ian Nimmo’s Help Borregaard Consolidates 8 Control Rooms

Dag Skjeltorp and Egil Willy Karlsen have become control room ergonomics experts. “We know a lot about HMIs now,” Skjeltorp said. “It is very, very easy to buy the wrong stuff.” Karlsen stressed the importance of defining HMI needs first when designing operator consoles. They started, Karlsen said, in 2001 with a project to re-design … Continued

Human Factors and Process Safety

API 754 Using Human Factors to Improve Process Safety Following the recommendations of the Baker report into the BP Texas City incident two (2) new American Petroleum Institute (API) recommended practices were published. One of these dealt with the subject of fatigue risk management and the other, the subject of this paper, process safety performance … Continued

Achieving Excellence In Operations

Requires Operator Support… Many organizations have appointed a leader to initiate an excellence philosophy for operations and the first thing they discover, improving operations is a major challenge for most managers. Indeed, multiple pressures – competition, more stringent regulation as well as investor and stakeholder expectations – are driving leaders to focus heavily on improving … Continued

New IEC 62682 Webinar

EC 62682 View Webinar Here             US national standard has been a recommended practice for a long time now, but the new IEC 62682 specifically calls out management letting them know this is an international standard not a recommend practice. We can help, our customers are achieving the EEMUA 191 alarm … Continued