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May 2009

Welcome to our updated website, we have re-designed the site for mobile web users and different types of media.  We plan on attaching webcast sessions and other multimedia devices like YouTube presentations.  Our world is changing fast and we must keep up to date.  We will have a control room discussion group on my Facebook page and we will be hosting a control room resource group and a Process Industry HMI Resource Group.

We have been working on a couple of Power Station control room projects and we have introduced a new initiative on one of the projects, “The Green Control Building Guide”, to demonstrate to the Power Companies (or any Customers) awareness of the Environment and Energy Saving.  We have provided a detailed resource guide based on the US Green Building Council ( and the Green Building Certification Institute ( that define and administer building rating programs such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).  The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is another excellent source of information on their National Green Building Program (

I think this is a great testimony for a Power Station to show that they get it, and can be an example to their customers.  We believe this is going to be something many customers will be interested in and may win some an award.  We have a very good guideline and as we do projects we will continue to learn and add more materials to the resource guide.  This will deliver significant reduction in energy costs, especially with a 24/7 operation.

I will be doing a HMI workshop with our good friends Lin & Associates this month, we have been working on a couple of joint projects and have found a great deal of things we have in common.  Watch this space for more news.

I am preparing for a trip to Houston to meet with some affiliates; Dave is going to Connecticut to work on a control room project and Rusty is doing a staffing assessment for a refinery in the Northeast.

This is a very important time for companies to consider our staffing workload assessment methodology and Management of Organizational Change services as they have been very well received by the union member sites.  It is a mistake today not to have a good methodology for assessing staffing.  We believe that most companies can staff for normal operations, however, they must do a risk assessment to determine that these staffing levels can safely bring a unit down and start it up again.

Our two methodologies address these issues and can help a company focus their critical staffing in the area needed.  Human resource is your most important asset, it is important that you select and hire the right people, you train them to be competent and you provide them with the right support staff.

We have recently helped a company that is downsizing not just to be competitive, but to survive in these economic times.  They are challenged to hire and retain competent staff due to the competition in the marketplace for the same workforce.  This company is about to lose 40% of its skilled shift force due to retirement and even though they are trying to hire new workers they know that the replacements will take several years to reach the skill and knowledge of the people they are replacing.  Hence, the workers they are trying to retain must be effective and doing the right jobs.  UCDS has been helping them redesign their jobs, their organization, and their management structure to leverage every skilled worker they have and to be successful with new hires and integrate them into the organization.

We have the tools; let us help you in these challenging times. Let us help you demonstrate to your workforce and their union members that workforce change can be done safely and effectively to make it a win-win situation for everyone.

So often we work on projects that just seem overwhelming to managers and engineers; taking on multiple projects such as control room replacement, control system upgrade, HMI redesign, alarm rationalization, new training, new hires, and management system changes like procedure updates.  Our goal is to bring all these initiatives together under one umbrella, clarify the vision and provide a successful roadmap that reduces stress, manages change and brings success.

We try to keep articles on these topics available on the website; we will soon be making videos and interactive presentations available for downloading.  Our goal is to be a resource to you our customers and to be the best in the industry at what we do and to demonstrate that we are a cost effective solution to your project needs.

We strive to provide advice on other organizations and as such we continuously review our affiliates list of service providers and ensure that they also maintain the same standards that we cherish.  We have updated this list with the new website and we are continuously looking for partners to help provide the best solution for our customers.  Last year, I invested a significant amount of time and travel in visiting potential affiliates.  For example I spent a week in Brussels with our friends at Barco learning about their new and future technologies and about their capabilities and resources.  I spent time talking to their customers about what worked well, what are the problems they have encountered and how have they been addressed.

As such we have a strong alliance with companies like TiPS, Inc. and have worked together to provide information to customers on alarm management.  The last Webcast we did had over 100 customers on the line.  In the future we are going to demonstrate our partner’s strengths by featuring them on our website or facebook applications.

We hope you enjoy and find our new website useful, easy to use, and more available on mobile devices. Please provide us with feedback on our more interactive site at or make contact regarding a quote for services at

Best wishes,

Ian Nimmo – President