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February 2010

What a great January!  I must first thank Texas A&M University and the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering Department, who honored me by allowing me to give the keynote address at the 65th Instrument Symposium.  They then gave me a special luncheon with guests, this was very humbling and I was very grateful.  They also gave me a very nice plaque for my office.

I presented a paper on the Safety, Automation and Other Systems that need to be integrated at the Operator desktop.  Today, we have a tendency to treat these separately and in fact provide multiple styles and many inconsistencies in the Operator HMI.

I see no reason and only disadvantage if the history system is providing HMI overview information and the color scheme is not coordinated with the automation system HMI.  The SIS has no HMI and is dependent on the automation system for status overview and diagnostic information but again the displays are not coordinated in the same style as the automation system HMI.  A copy of my paper is available on our website.

Alarm Management

Robin Brooks & Timothy Triplett talked on “Logical Rationale of Alarm Rationalization” at the Texas A&M Instrumentation Symposium, a similar paper that I commented on in December, it was very well received.  The software is very interesting and worth checking out (  It is a natural complement to your historian and alarm management rationalization tools like the LogMate® Alarm Management Software.  See their website .

The TiPS Inc. tool is the best tool in the marketplace and they are one of the easiest companies to work with.  I highly recommend it.  People often ask me about their recent alarm rationalization project because they are unsatisfied with the results and the economic payback.  I always guide them back to first principles – good situation awareness, a sound alarm philosophy and the right tools that focus on the task in hand and do not compromise the control system and integrity of the alarm system.

High Performance HMI

We have had an exciting and ground breaking month.  We have been working on HMI Philosophy and Style Guides for one of our Power Industry customers and a new Transmission and Control Center which will have the biggest Large Screen Display (LSD) System and it will be designed to the new High Performance HMI standards, grey scale.  This is quite a change and the operator’s are very enthusiastic and working hard to make this a successful implementation.

Control Room Design

We are still doing control room projects, the recent are left over from last year, so we are looking for new projects.  We offer two types of services:  a gap analysis looking at exiting control rooms against today’s best practices and International Standards for ergonomic design of control rooms or a full blown Conceptual and Detail Design based on ISO 11064 standard design.

Staffing Assessments and Workload Design

We are hoping to see some new contracts for staffing assessment and workload design.  We have a very robust methodology which was developed by UCDS Inc. and has been well received by the industry and around the world.  We have the capability to review Greenfield, brown field or existing sites.  We have a proven and well tested methodology for inside/outside operators, dedicated inside and outside operators, Supervisor staffing and the management team and operations organization.

Management of Organization Change

We have developed a well recognized methodology which we have implemented here in the USA, in Australia and Europe.  The methodology is based on the UK HSE Staffing methodology and uses a scenario based system that focuses on three main points Detection, Comprehension and Resolution.
It provides a very comprehensive way to evaluate how an effective team that is staffed for normal operations may cope during both Abnormal and Emergency operations.  It also takes an in-depth investigation into the management systems that support operators during these times.  It identifies strengths and weaknesses and provides a benchmark against known industrial standards.

UK Visit

I will be in the UK during March and I am offering a reduced price workshop for any of our World-class Workshops in Alarm Management, High Performance HMI, Situation Awareness and Control Room Design or Management of Organizational Change.  Take advantage of this offer and save on airfares.

CCE Interiors
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We understand the unique requirements of the 24/7 control room, focusing on the need
to support people and technology. With this is mind, we design spaces that efficiently, effectively and ergonomically meet your needs today and tomorrow. Our singular focus on mission-critical environments is your strategic advantage. Let’s discuss how you can benefit from our expertise.

Military & Government Case Study 1

Military Command and Control Center
Anchorage, AK

Military Command and Control Center

CCE and the base Command Staff worked closely together to coordinate proper design into the renovation of this command center. After conducting an onsite visit to view current operations as well as interviewing the staff to determine needs and requirements, CCE was able to design custom Evans Strategy and Dispatch consoles along with matching millwork to specifically meet the client’s needs.