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January 2008

Happy New Year to all our readers. It has been nice to kick back for a couple of weeks and catch up on some projects at home. I have been loading a new laptop for me – hurray! My last one has been around the world a few times and last year it travelled over 150,000 frequent flyer miles — it let me down a couple of times during the year with a worn our keyboard, two replacement hard drives and my mother board had to be replaced as my video out went bad. I guess we should not expect more than two years out of a business laptop. I tried to go for three, a mistake, but I have to admit, Dell were great and they came out and fixed it without too much of a hassle!

It looks like January is getting off to a busy quarter for UCDS. I will be back to New Orleans with Dave, he is also kicking off two new jobs in Canada where it is very cold. I will be in Ireland and then I fly direct to Brussels and will be also working in Poland where it is also cold. Please Thom, we need to come back to St. Croix for a weather fix.

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Spread the word — UCDS is looking for a Senior Consultant to join our team. We are looking for Chemical Engineers and Automation Engineers. Please, pass this on to anyone you might know who would be interested.

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UCDS is participating in the 2008 Operator Awareness Roadshow. Please click on the link below for more information and to register for the event.

http://www.tipsweb.com/about/events/roadshow2008/

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UCDS is starting the year with a new project in West Virginia and a NEW User Centered Design Service:

Service Description:

The study of what an operator (or team of operators) is required to do, in terms of actions and/or cognitive processes, to achieve a system goal. It provides the customer with a “blueprint” of human involvement in a system. The study of what an operator (or team of operators) is required to do, in terms of actions and/or cognitive processes, to achieve a system goal. It provides the customer with a “blueprint” of human involvement in a system and short falls in automation.

Benefits:

Ensure system safety through hazard identification, effective system design, human reliability assessment, and incident investigation review.

Enhance productivity through determination of where to automate system processes, evaluation of staffing and training requirements, and identification of error potential.

Increase system availability by identification of future automation needs and maintenance demands, and requirements for maintenance support tools
In conjunction with the Operator Staffing Assessment:

Brings staffing issues into the open

Enables the adequacy of staffing arrangements to be gauged and the impacts of staffing changes, particularly reductions, to be assessed

Is practical, useable and intelligible to duty holders, unions and inspectors

Is robust and resistant to manipulation and massaging of its output

Provision of greater transparency and thereby facilitate dialogue between duty holders, unions and inspectors

Enabling of benchmarking across organizations and competitors

Identifies areas where existing operators can safely assume additional duties

Identifies areas where existing posts can be combined
Deliverables:

Allocation of function

Allocating functions between personnel and machines, and defining extent of operator involvement in the control of the system.

Person specification

Defining characteristics and capability requirements of personnel to enable to efficiently carry out the task.

Enable the customer to determine if the current inside/outside operators can be migrated to a central control room and provide dedicated inside and outside positions.

UCDS plans to continue to grow our Batch Solution set of services and help our customers achieve excellence in operations.

Well, here is wishing all of you a very Happy New Year and we look forward to working with you in 2008.