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Operator Display Navigation (let’s clean it up)

We analyzed the number of moves an operator makes as he navigates from display to display, a common practice during start up and when troubleshooting abnormal situations. The operator is looking for information on multiple screens. In this scenario, the operator viewed 28 screens during a start up, looking for information that is scattered on multiple screens, this can easily result in human error and running in abnormal.

Poor display navigation results in wear and tear on equipment, increased energy, and maintenance expenses. We must improve operator response time. Situation awareness is always the goal.

If we can help an operator by showing him where to focus his attention, he/she can actually, prevent alarms by predicting problems using an overview screen of his equipment and processes, he can prevent the processes from running outside the limits which will reduce risks and lower operating costs.

The idea is to detect a potential problem using a uniquely designed the level one display – a complete dynamic overview of the operators equipment and processes – specifically drawing attention to situations that the operator should be aware of but are not in alarm (yet), then the operator would click on the level 2 display to identify where the problem is, then click on the detailed display (the ones they use today level 3’s) to confirm and make the proper change.

It’s all about putting the operator in front of a problem. When you use a level one to level four display hierarchy displays, your giving the operator a much better picture of what is happening and allowing him to drill into the right area to investigate, so in reality, you are breaking the information down into groups and organizing the information in a way that make sense to the operator. This is not easy and should be facilitated with the operators.

New displays will have an impact on the the console design and room design, especially if your using large screens or projectors, all of which will affect the control room design. You can start see how the user interfaces are linked to the overall design of the control room. When people think about High Performance Displays, they often think they are redesigning all their graphics, and this can be overwhelming. That’s not what we do, we add level one and level two displays, but never take away their existing graphics, the graphics they use today simply become their level 3 displays and get improved overtime.

Email me: smaddox@mycontrolroom.com for information on: Operator Centered Situation Awareness Control Room Methodology:

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