Alarms are required to bring an operator’s attention to a pending consequence which could involve harm to people, damage to equipment, processing errors impacting production. Unfortunately, alarms are generated by instruments that fail, which generates thousands of false alarms overloading the operators view to all the alarms, alarms often have a domino effect which floods the alarm summary and prevents operators from responding to urgent alarms.
Alarms are a major challenge in the contemporary processing industry. A properly implemented alarm management system can reduce operator work load, improve situational awareness and aid the operator in preventing minor deviations from becoming major incidents. Conversely, a poorly implemented system adds to controller workload, increases frustration, stress, and confusion, and can ultimately impact safety, reliability, production, and profitability. For the alarm to work effectively it must have a known response from an operator, and the operator must have sufficient time to respond to the alarm mitigating the consequences that the alarm is preventing.
User Centered Design Services provides a comprehensive array of Alarm Management Services that can be used to evaluate your current plant condition, make realistic and achievable recommendations for improvement, and aid you in implementing our recommendations. An integral part of this line is to provide guidance on industry standards and best practices.
User Centered Design Services personnel have decades of experience in best practices and international standards. We implement industrial standards and best practices in each of the following projects:
- Control Room Design
- Console Design
- HMI Design
- Gap Assessments
- Alarm Management
- Pipeline CRM
- Staffing Assessments
- Operator Training Development
- And more...
User Centered Design Services has first-hand development experience and has been involved in developing the following Standards and Regulations:
- OSHA PSM
- UK HSE
- DOT PHMSA CRM
Whatever your need, we apply the appropriate industry best practices, regulatory information, and industry guidelines to provide world-class solutions
Conduct of Operations and Operational Discipline: Structuring tasks in a manner consistent with the organization's risk tolerance to ensure that every task is performed deliberately and correctly, minimizing variations in performance. By "correctly" we mean, "Everyone, doing the right thing, at the right time, every time."
The COO&OD assessment will provide your plants leadership team with an objective third-party gap analysis that can be used to ensure a safe and profitable operation, by identifying how you can improve your conduct of operations management systems and standards. Identify how you can improve the performance of your front-line supervisors, field operators, control room operators, and support functions, such as maintenance, reliability and engineering.
Is your site vulnerable for an attack? User Centered Design Services offers building security assessments to identify weakness, protection plans, and training needs. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a manual to provide guidance on how to handle and safeguard information developed by private and public entities under Section 550 of Public Law 109-295 and its implementing regulations, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), 6 CFR Part 27. Pursuant to CFATS, this information is known as Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information, or CVI.
Ian Nimmo, expert in control room design and operating best practices says: “Most companies leave security at the gate, inside the gate the control room is vulnerable to whoever gets past or around the security guard. At some sites, security is enhanced by TWIC cards for all employees and contractors, and non-TWIC holders are escorted by a company representative at all times. It’s not good enough. Security is not just a matter of “how” but “when” they get in “what” can they do.
The Gap Analysis process allows management a unique opportunity to gauge site performance versus industry best practices. It provides invaluable feedback to aid in focusing continuous improvement effort in areas where the greatest impact can be made. UCDS offers a full line of Gap Analysis services to evaluate your current plant condition, make realistic and achievable recommendations for improvement, and aid in implementation of those recommendations.
We currently offer the following Gap Analysis services:
- Control Room
- Alarm Management
- Management Systems
- Human Computer Interface
- Pipeline CRM
User Centered Design Services offers a full array of consulting services to assess and make realistic achievable recommendations for improving HMI design and aid you in the execution of those recommendations. User Centered Design Services HMI services are essential to providing direction on best practices.
If any of the following seems familiar, your HMI needs improvement:
- Operators claim they need ten screens to operate the plant.
- Graphics appear cluttered.
- Graphics are more colorful than a carnival.
- During an abnormal situation, operators rapidly jump between screens, searching for the information they need.
- Graphics are developed page-for-page from the P&IDs.
Research has identified that well-implemented HMI can improve operator performance in problem detection and resolution by as much as 25 percent. This reduces the amount of time the plant is running at less-than-optimal efficiency, thus improving the bottom line. Well-implemented HMI reduces operator stress and improves employee relationships.
UCDS has extensive expertise in the following HMI standards, regulations, and best practices:
- ASM Consortium Effective Human Machine Interface Guidelines (guideline)
- ISA-101.01 – Human Machine Interfaces for Process Automation Systems (future standard)
- API 1165 – Recommended Practice for Pipeline SCADA Displays (recommended practice)
- NUREG 700 – Human-System Interface Design Review Guidelines (guideline)
- EEMUA 201 – Process plant control desks utilizing human-computer interfaces: a guide to design, operational and human-computer interface issues (guideline)
- ISO 11064 part 5
So, what is MOOC? Just like an MOC will ensure that changes are justified, safe, and documented, we need to do the same when we make organization changes. When equipment and responsibilities are added or consolidation or removal of an operator position, an operator may be able to manage the workload during normal operations, but what if an abnormal situation occurs? Can the operation manage the workload? Management of Organizational Change will ensure that safety is not compromised during normal and abnormal situations before staffing changes are made.
UCDS offers a workshop to train your personnel to be able to incorporate this methodology with your own MOOC processes and with your PHA studies. Alternatively, UCDS can provide a chair person to lead your MOOCs
Strategic operator staffing is essential to attaining a competitive advantage. If your operators have the proper knowledge and skills, they are able to understand the cause-and-effect associations between processes, identify problems and avoiding abnormal situations. They are also able to optimize equipment operation and processes.
UCDS offers a range of services to help you achieve a competitive advantage by obtaining the right people and developing their knowledge and skills
Are you thinking about consolidating, adding or eliminating an operator position? Many facilities’ staffing levels are achieved as a result of labor force negotiations where optimizing expenses is not characteristically a priority . UCDS exclusive methodology addresses the differences between types of operations and facilities. This fact is borne out by multiple studies that have generated a comprehensive database of operator positions against which your facility can be measured.
UCDS offers Staffing Studies for:
- Field Operator Staffing Assessment
- Console Operator Staffing Assessment
- Inside/Outside Staffing Assessment - updating
- Abnormal Situation Staffing Assessment
- Work Team Design
- Management of Organization Change (MOOC)
- We are also happy to provide customized services based on any specific client requirements
User Centered Design Services has developed an assessment methodology that compares the current operations Work Team Design to industry Best Practice. Our review includes the Work Group Structure, the Work Group Interaction, and the Management Structure and Philosophy. Our process can be applied to current staffing at a site to indicate areas for improvement. The process can also involve the study of potential staffing reductions to create a smaller team structure while retaining or enhancing overall performance.
Our analysis examines all aspects of the work team including the following:
- Work Group Structure
- Size – Number of Field Operators, Console Operators, and Supervisors
- Type and Level of Supervision
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Continuous Learning Environment
- Work Group Interaction
- Decision Making Style
- Task Interdependence
- Shared Goals and Objectives
- Cooperation vs. Competition
- Management Structure and Philosophy
- Informed Decision Making
- Root Cause Analysis
- Safety Stressed over Production
- Environment of Continuous Learning
- Cross Team Collaboration
- Ownership of Goals and Targets
- Compliance with Policies and Procedures
- Clear Leadership Roles
- Stated Values
- Clear Expectations
- Comprehensive Management of Change Policy
- Positive Reinforcement
The Work Team Design Assessment will not only help evolve a new organization and culture but also develop an organizational culture that will give you a competitive advantage and promote a positive safety culture.
Simply fill out the form and we will be in contact with you shortly to schedule a phone or web conference to answer questions and discuss how we can help your organization.