Posts by Stephen Maddox

How Control Room Consolidation Enhances Operational Efficiency

In the realm of operations management, operational efficiency is key to ensuring safety, product quality, minimizing risks, and optimizing resources. One powerful strategy that continues to gain traction among forward-thinking organizations is control room consolidation. This approach not only centralizes monitoring and response activities but also significantly enhances operational efficiency. Let’s delve into how control…

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The Importance of Effective Control Room Design in Mission-Critical Operations

In mission-critical operations, where split-second decisions are vital, the design of control rooms significantly impacts operational success. Effective control room design focuses on user-centered principles to support operators in executing their responsibilities efficiently and safely. Here’s why it matters:   Enhanced Situational Awareness: A well-designed control room minimizes distractions, optimizes sightlines, and organizes information displays…

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Understanding the Basics: What is Control Room Consolidation?

  In the dynamic landscape of operations management, the concept of control room consolidation is gaining significant attention. As businesses and organizations seek to optimize their operational efficiencies and enhance safety protocols, the consolidation of operations and control rooms emerges as a compelling solution. But what exactly does control room consolidation entail, and why is…

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Vote For Dave Lee – ISA Executive Board Nominee

Please Vote For Dave Lee We are proud to announce that Dave Lee, our UCDS president and friend has been nominated for a position on ISA’s Executive Board. Use the following link to cast your vote.   About Dave David is a Chemical Engineer by training, a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the UK’s IChemE,…

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Minimizing Disruption During a Control Room Consolidation

In the ever-evolving landscape of industrial operations, control room consolidations have become a strategic move for many organizations seeking increased efficiency and streamlined processes. While the benefits of consolidation are clear, the process itself can be challenging, often requiring disruptions to day-to-day operations. Let’s explore effective strategies to minimize disruption during a control room consolidation…

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Employee Retention Strategies in the Control Room Industry

  The control room serves as the nerve center for many operations, whether it’s in refining, pipelines, utilities, transportation, surveillance, or emergency services. The staff in these critical environments often have to be prepared for high-stress situations that require constant vigilance to navigate, which can lead to job burnout and turnover. Retaining qualified and trained…

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The 6-Step Methodology

UCDS uses a 6-Step methodology to design a User Centered Control Room to enhance operator performance. The goal is to keep the operator’s attention engaged without relying on alarms. Our methodology is a phased approach, each step in our methodology leads into the next step. Each step has an impact on the design of the control room. We are the only company in the world that uses this 6-step integrated…

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Ian Nimmo: High Performance Operator Displays for ISA Pulp and Paper

On April 2nd at 10:00 central time, Ian is going to present on High-Performance Operator Displays for ISA Pulp and Paper. High-Performance Displays: We design operator displays for situation awareness based on prioritized events that require operator attention using a Level 1 through 4 hierarchy. Operator displays must be designed using human factors rules and…

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IChemE Process Management & Control Webinar 2024

The iChemE presentation will be on: Applying Human Factors in the Control Room to Achieve High Performance in Operator Response. Ian will present on the 6-step model below:   Register Now Applying Human Factors in the Control Room to Achieve High Performance in Operator Response This presentation will explain many of today’s current challenges with…

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Justifying the Project Costs of Alarm Management

As businesses continue to rely on automation and advanced technology, the need for a reliable alarm management system becomes increasingly important. Alarm systems provide immediate notifications when an issue arises, ensuring that prompt action can be taken to prevent any potential downtime or safety hazards. However, implementing an alarm management system can come at a…

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What an Effective Alarm Management Team Looks Like (and How to Build One)

Alarm management is a critical aspect of any organization, as it helps to ensure the safety and security of both individuals and assets. An effective alarm management team plays a vital role in this process by managing alarms efficiently, reducing nuisance alarms, and identifying potential hazards before they turn into major incidents.   Characteristics of…

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ACRNA 2023 Conference

The ACRNA 2023 conference held in Brisbane was the best yet!   The venue at the Queensland Cricketers Club of the magnificent GABBA had a record 117 delegates gather for 2 full days of control room learnings, sharing, visits and, as usual, plenty of networking.    We were fortunate to have renowned expert Ian “HP HMI” Nimmo…

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The Importance of Continuous Alarm Management

Alarm systems are designed to alert individuals and organizations of potential hazards or emergencies. They serve the nervous system of the process and play a key role in mitigating risks, preventing losses, and ensuring the safety of people and assets. However, just having alarm systems in place is not enough; it is equally important to…

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Kuraray Embraces Control Room Human Factors and Operator Situation Awareness

Kuraray has been manufacturing and marketing ethylene vinyl-alcohol copolymers (EVOH) under the name EVAL™ since 1972 and remains the world leader in EVOH production and market development. EVAL™ helps food producers and distributors make packaging more efficient and avoids waste while conserving energy and resources, as well as reducing the total amount of packaging materials…

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Why Alarm Management Training is Important

In industries where safety and reliability are paramount, effective alarm management is crucial. Alarm systems serve as a vital tool for alerting operators to abnormal conditions or potential hazards. However, without proper training, alarm systems can become overwhelming, leading to operator errors and compromised safety. That’s why alarm management training is of utmost importance in…

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Why Control Room Design is Important

Control rooms are at the heart of many industries. From power plants to transportation networks, control rooms serve as the nerve center where critical decisions are made and operations are monitored. Given their significance, it’s essential to recognize the importance of a calculated control room design. Ensuring Optimal Performance A well-designed control room can greatly…

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The Power of High-Performance HMI

What is High-Performance HMI? High-performance HMI is a design approach that focuses on providing operators with clear, concise information to make informed decisions. It leverages graphical representations, color schemes, and data organization to present only relevant information to the operator. The result is minimized cognitive load, maximized situational awareness, and improved response times in critical…

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Control Room Design

Control rooms are the nerve center of any industrial facility, where operators monitor, control, and manage the operations. A well-designed control room can significantly enhance operational efficiency, improve safety, and lead to a happier, more productive workforce. In this blog post, we will delve into the critical aspects of control room design.   Why is…

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The Crucial Role of Alarm Management

Alarm management is a pivotal aspect of control room operations. A well-configured alarm system is an essential tool that assists operators in monitoring system states, identifying unusual conditions, and taking swift, informed action. In this blog post, we will delve into the critical impact of alarm management on a control room operator’s ability to detect,…

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The Importance of Operator Staffing Studies for Control Rooms

The heart of every efficient control room is centered around well trained, competent, and vigilant operators. Ensuring you have the right number of operators at the right time is not just about meeting regulatory requirements, it’s also about ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of your facility. This is where Operator Staffing Studies come into…

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ACRNA Conference | Keynote Speaker: Ian Nimmo

ACRNA 2023 Conference: Brisbane, Australia Meeting the needs of future control rooms In 2023 we will be back in Brisbane with many opportunities to visit new control rooms, and to revisit some of our colleagues from 2016 to see the transitions they have made and to consider our own strategies, preparedness, planning and foresight. The…

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The Art of Control Room Design: Creating Efficient and Ergonomic Spaces

Control rooms play a vital role in the seamless operation of industrial facilities, power plants, and other critical environments. They serve as the hub for monitoring, controlling, and managing complex processes, making it essential to design them with efficiency, ergonomics, and safety in mind. In this post, we will discuss the key considerations for control…

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Level One and Level Two High-Performance Displays

What are High-Performance Displays? High-performance displays are an essential component of modern control rooms. They provide operators with clear, concise, and easily understandable information about the processes they’re monitoring. These displays are designed to reduce cognitive workload, increase situational awareness, and ultimately, improve the overall performance of your control room. There are two primary levels…

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Mastering Alarm Management

Alarm management is an essential aspect of any industrial control system. From small-scale facilities to large manufacturing plants, alarms play a crucial role in maintaining safety and efficiency. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the importance of alarm management, best practices, and steps to improve your alarm system.   Why is Alarm Management Important?…

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Shift Work And LED Lights

Shift work. It’s a given in virtually every work schedule of the process-based industry.  LED (light-emitting diode) lighting has gained traction as the status quo due to its energy efficiency and longevity.  However, the specific characteristics of LED lighting, particularly its color temperature and blue light content, can affect the circadian rhythm and sleep patterns…

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The Value of Alarm Management

Automation Projects, Challenges, and How the Operator Became Alarmed: In the photo you can see Ian Nimmo standing with a Polyester Fiber Bale dating back to the 80’s when this young engineer faced many uphill battles; some you all may relate to. Like most projects they come with unique challenges.   Automating processes were the…

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Join us July 13th in Houston Texas

On July 13th, Chris, Steve W., and I will be hosting a 1-day event in Houston, Texas. There, we will provide a tour of the latest control room furniture options, demoing sit-stand features and a smart keyboard for the operator to access multiple networks with a single interface. We will explain our 6-Step Methodology for High-Performance Control…

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6 Step to Achieve High Performance Control Room

  Image 1 This is a 6 Step methodology where each step, starting with number 1, feeds into number 2, and so on. After each of the 5 steps are complete, all the information and design changes are rolled into step 6! This is an integrated methodology that promotes high-performance operations in the control room. …

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