This is a very simplified explanation of what a properly designed level one display can do. For ease of understanding, we performed an operator task analysis to identify the most important information that was scattered on many different displays and we combined that information into a simple list. The idea, is turning critical operator data into valuable easy to identify information:
Focus your attention on the black squares in the middle of the graph above. By using Pattern Recognition, you can easily see where the black box 2nd from the bottom is positioned more to the left.
Imagine, if you were an operator and you had this image on a large display, and you quickly noticed that one of these boxes was creeping closer to the left, the line represents the operating limit. If the black box is inside the operating limits, you’re okay, but at the same time, you can see if you need to make adjustments that will keep the boxes in a straight line.
This is how an operator can optimize the process. If the box goes past the line, you need to respond, if it touches the end, you’re in alarm and the clock starts ticking. They can simply go from this screen to the level 2 screen to see details of the equipment and make an adjustment on the level 3 detailed display. Again, this is a simplified explanation, to see the power of turning data into visual information.
We have worked with hundreds of operators to design level one and level two displays that operators absolutely love and appreciate. Always remember, when it comes to improving operations, the operator is the client. They must be involved in designs that impact their performance, that includes alarms, displays, consoles, and the design of the control rooms. They should not be designed in a vacuum but as an integrated Situation Awareness system.
Let me know if you want me to send you our “Operator Centered Situation Awareness Control Room” methodology. email me: firstname.lastname@example.org