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We have written approximately 50 documents that deal with a variety of issues in the control room. Our documents are available on a per request basis. Simply find the document you want in the list, let us know which one you would like, and we will send it to you. Use the form to make your request. We do not use an automated process to deliver documents anymore. You will receive an email from someone on our staff with the requested documents within 24 hours.

Alarm Management Documents

Documents - Alarm Management
The following documents are available.

* Alarms Graphic Projects
A longer and more detailed version of the Alarm Overload paper - written by Ian Nimmo. Paper discussing the benefits of Alarm Management and Graphics Projects i.e., focusing on life-cycle characteristics and transitioning to maintaining good alarm management practices, and best practices design methodology on how to approach graphics development.

* Human Factors in Alarm Management
Written by Ian Nimmo, published in CEP magazine - November 2002. Article discusses implementing procedures to consider human factors, not simply human error, in control room architecture and reducing the chance of incidents in plants.)

* Lessons Learned From a Disaster
Written by Ian Nimmo and John Moscatelli. Paper reflects on how learning from past experience has helped improve alarm managment systems.

* Growing Old Together
Written by Ian Nimmo, published in Hydrocarbon Engineering - January 2005. Article discusses refurbishment projects and best methodologies and standards for making the changes such as Study of Management Systems, i.e., people and performance systems; Ergonomic Design of Operating desks or Consoles; Human Computer Interface, Alarm Management, and Design of Control Rooms.

* Organizational Accidents and Abnormal Situation Management

* Rescue Your Plant from Alarm Overload
An article published in Chemical Processing by Ian Nimmo, January 2005. Discusses why most Distributed Control Systems (DCS) have more standing alarms than necessary, and how to resolve this problem. Find out how to rescue your plant from alarm overload utilizing guidelines on personnel responsibility and benchmarking system performance.

Control Room Documents

Documents - Control Rooms
The following documents are available.

* Control Room Projects
Since the early 1970’s, process industries have been faced with an alarming number of incidents causing undesired effects ranging from reduced profits to loss of lives. Industry began doing studies into the causes of these incidents and found that human factors had a significant impact.

* Control Room Operators & Human Factors
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, Texas City and the 2003 northeast electrical blackout have all been attributed, at least in part, to a fundamental lack of good situational awareness in the control room.

* Abnormal Situation Management - The Need for Good Situation Awareness
A paper presented by Ian Nimmo, September of 2004, at the symposium “Advances in Process Control 7”. The paper discusses strategies to help operators maintain a high level of situational awareness i.e., an accurate perception of the current condition of the process and equipment, and accurate understanding of the meaning of key performance indicators.

* Designing a Control Building
Written by Ian Nimmo, published by Hydrocarbon Engineering - November 2002. Article discusses major aspects to designing a new control building i.e., building location, standards, selecting an architecture firm, building company, console layout and ergonomic considerations, people changes, and management of change.

* Designing Control Rooms for Humans
Written by Ian Nimmo and John Moscatelli, published in Control Magazine - July 2004. Article discusses today’s work environment and how it has been revolutionized by PCs and PC workstations.

* Putting on a Human Face on the Design of Control Rooms
Written by Ian Nimmo, published by Process Control Magazine - May 2004. Article discusses how technology has pushed industrial processes to the limit, and why companies should implement standards and best practices around factors such as human related incidents and Control Room Design.

* The Safety Issues of Batch and Other Controls
Written by Ian Nimmo, presented as a keynote presentation May of 2005 at the World Batch Forum. This paper discusses a new approach to safety, breaking the traditional barriers of people, organizations and culture, and puts the control engineer back in the driving seat for determining performance improvements, optimizing control algorithms, people, and the way they interface with technology.

* Shift Worker & Fatigue
The incidence of fatigue is underestimated in virtually every industry because it is hard to quantify and measure. Recognizing that fatigue management requires major changes in both organizational culture and operator behavior.

* Cost Estimate of a New Control Room
We have to improve the work environment if we want operators to be effective. We often get asked, "How much does a new state of the art control room cost? We need an estimate for budgeting." So how much does a new control room cost? Well you have to consider every phase of the project from project conception to ribbon cutting.

* Operator Training and Qualification
To gain a competitive advantage, decisions are made to spend millions of dollars to upgrade technology, equipment, control rooms, etc. in process plants. However, there is very little thought given to upgrading the performance of the plant operators. These individuals are left to rely on inadequate or non-existent training systems to develop the knowledge and skills required to effectively operate the equipment and processes.

* Operator Consoles: Growing Old Together
Written by Ian Nimmo, published in Hydrocarbon Engineering - January 2005. Article discusses refurbishment projects and best methodologies and standards for making the changes such as Study of Management Systems, i.e., people and performance systems; Ergonomic Design of Operating Desks or Consoles; Human Computer Interface, Alarm Management, and Design of Control Rooms.

High Performance HMI Documents

Documents - High Performance HMI
The following documents are available.

* How SAS's Finally Come Together as an HMI
A paper presented by Ian Nimmo, January of 2010, at the 65th Annual Instrumentation Symposium for the Process Industries.

* The-High-Performance-HMI
Over the last 10 years science has caught up with Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) and has determined that many of the current practices are not compliant with known research into Human Factors/Ergonomic HF/E requirements. Many mistakes have been made during the evolution of the HMI. In the early days the HMI evolved from hard panels to electronic computer screen representation of the physical interfaces. These representations were completed with minimal guidance or standards.

* The High Performance HMI (What is it?)
The industry today is in a state of confusion regarding Basic Process Control Systems (BPCS) Human Machine Interface (HMI). The industry has about 40 years’ experience with Man or Human Machine Interfaces in one form or another.

With the evolution of the BPCS’s the Man/Human Machine Interface (HMI) has evolved over a period of 50 years and has transitioned from physical lights, switches and annunciators panels with analogue gauges and trend displays to electronic simulations and finally to Computer Interfaces.

* HMI ROI Study
The objective of this study was to determine if an ASM style of operator interface would improve operator performance in abnormal situations. The study compared one group of operators performance using a traditional operator interface versus another group who used an ASM designed interface. A series of plant malfunctions was simulated for the two groups of operators where response times, time to orient, and control actions were evaluated.

* Best Practices in HP HMI Design
Having a solid foundation to build on is extremely important, and
having an enforced policy that ensures compliance is just as
important.

Management of Organizational Change Documents

Documents - Management of Organizational Change
The following documents are available.

* The Safety Issues of Batch (and other) Controls
The Safety Issues of Batch (and other) Controls written by Ian Nimmo, presented as a keynote presentation May of 2005 at the World Batch Forum. This paper discusses a new approach to safety, breaking the traditional barriers of people, organizations and culture, and puts the control engineer back in the driving seat for determining performance improvements, optimizing control algorithms, people, and the way they interface with technology.

* MOOC - Management of Organizational Change Services

Situation Awareness Documents

Documents - Situational Awareness
The following documents are available.

* Abnormal Situation Management - The Need for Good Situation Awareness
A paper presented by Ian Nimmo, September of 2004, at the symposium “Advances in Process Control 7.” The paper discusses strategies to help operators maintain a high level of situational awareness i.e., an accurate perception of the current condition of the process and equipment, and accurate understanding of the meaning of key performance indicators.

* Organizational Accidents and Abnormal Situation Management

* Situation Critical
Written by Ian Nimmo, published in Hydrocarbon Engineering - December 2006. Article discusses organizational accidents and abnormal situation management.

* Operator Performance

 

Services Brochures

Documents - Briefs
The following documents are available.

* A UCDS Briefs Package

* Alarm Management Services Brief
We offer a complete line of services to improve the performance of your plant alarm system. Through a detailed assessment of your alarm management philosophy and alarm management practices, we identify opportunities and methods to reduce standing and nuisance alarms, resulting in fewer operator errors. This, in turn, leads to reductions in near misses, incidents and accidents.

* Biography & Bibliography
A brief background on our principal members and a detailed listing of publications

* Console Operator Staffing Assessment
We evaluate the number of console operators and workload for each, benchmarking each versus the site, industry and Best Practice. We then make recommendations for rationalization.

* Control Building Conceptual Design
We conduct a high-level look at new or retrofit control building projects to ensure that all the site needs are considered, and Best Practices are incorporated into the design. We develop an overall scope, vision and direction for the project.

* Control Building Detail Design
Through a detailed look at specific issues for a new or retrofit control building projects, we generate a document that will enable any architect to design a control building which incorporates Best Practices.

* Engineering Services
We offer additional engineering services to meet our client’s needs.

* Field Operating Staffing Assignment
We evaluate the number of field operators and workload for each, benchmarking them versus the site, industry and Best Practice. We then make recommendations for rationalization.

* Field Shelter Design
Using a functional requirements approach we develop user centered designs for new and retrofit field shelters, along with a ±30% cost estimate.

* How the Pieces Fit
A discussion of how UCDS’ services come together within a facility to achieve Operations Excellence

* Human Computer Interface Services
We offer a complete line of services to improve the performance of your plant's human-computer interface. In our detailed assessment of your control information philosophy and practices, we evaluate the number of screens necessary for operation and the quality of the information presented. Poorly designed graphics can increase the mental workload of operators by 10% and the time required to detect significant information by more than 25%.

* Management of Organizational Change Services
We educate and train the client on a methodology to implement staffing realignments and consolidation, while ensuring that safety and reliability are not compromised.

* Management System Gap Analysis
We compare site management systems in detail to Best Practices and identify improvement opportunities. This is the same study that each ASMC member company has completed as part of their membership fee.

* Situational Awareness Workshop
We offer a full line of consulting services to evaluate your current plant condition, make realistic and achievable recommendations for improvement, and aid you in implementing our recommendations. As an introduction to the subject of Abnormal Situation Management and how we address the associated issues, we have developed a two-day workshop.

* UCDS Corporate Brief
An overview of our company and capabilities

* Work Team Design Assessment
We assess the overall structure of the Operating Department and make recommendations for improvements.

Miscellaneous Documents

Documents - Miscellaneous 
The following documents are available for download.

* Future of Supervisory Systems in Process Industries

* The Safety Issues of Batch (and other) Controls
Written by Ian Nimmo, presented as a keynote presentation, May of 2005, at the World Batch Forum. This paper discusses a new approach to safety, breaking the traditional barriers of people, organizations and culture, and puts the control engineer back in the driving seat for determining performance improvements, optimizing control algorithms, people, and the way they interface with technology.

* Lessons Learned From a Disaster
Written by Ian Nimmo and John Moscatelli. Paper reflects on how learning from past experience has helped improve alarm management systems.

* Organizational Accidents and Abnormal Situation Management

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