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Operator Centered Situation Awareness Control Rooms are Designed from the HMI (Operator Displays)!

Perform an operator Task Analysis to determine what the operators responsibuilities are and what the workload consitis of. Then design the displays using the Level 1 through 4 hiarchy. Once you know eactly what information the operator requires and the best way to display the information (not using data) using analog objects which provide the operator with “real information” regarding operating limits, current operating position, and where the alarm limits are in real-time for every necessary tag. Show trend tails where required and design each object and its placement along side the operator.

Once you get the displays right, then and only then should you design the consoles and the room. It’s all about designing the operator user interface before you design the console. Each console configuration will be unique to that operators DISPLAY requirements. If you get the displays right, the alarms will simply be an indication of situations that the operator could not predict, like a busted pipe. The alarms will come in, but the operator will already be working on the problem.

Imagine a control room, where the operator monitors and controls everything from a display and alarms are no longer used in the control room. That’s where we want to go. We have always relied on alarms to notify the operator that action is required because the displays have failed to provide this information.

Again, Imagine a control room, where the operator monitors and controls everything from a display system where alarms are not needed. How do you imagine that?

You’re sitting in front of a screen at 2:00 AM. It has a display that shows every necessary componet of your house. Doors are all locked, lights off, appliances working, windows closed and locked, air conditioning normal, water heater normal, etc. Your house is in perfect order. You can see this by looking at a single display that nothing needs your attention. You decide to adjust the air to reduce operating costs. You make a change to reduce humidity, and you close a vent to a room that is centrally located and needs no humidity control.

All of a sudden your back door is opened, your kitchen light is turned on. Your display draws attention to all of these events, this information is so clear and apparent, you are compeltely aware of what is going on in your house. You are no longer alone.

You call an outside field operator to investigate (police). You grab your peace maker from under your console, and prepare to protect “Scoop” your over weight cat. This sytem is “Situation Awareness” Approved. All of this information was provided without a single alarm.

smaddox@mycontrolroom.com