Control Room Consolidation – Part 1, Operating Factors by Invensys
Manufacturing plant control rooms are a rare place where four variables– technology, work environment, processes, and labor – can be leveraged simultaneously. Consequently, their design and function is often part of a larger strategy to rationalize plant operations, which is often enabled with an upgrade of control and information technologies. Ignoring the rationalization effort afforded by the new work environment is a lost opportunity. Part 1 of this two part series by Bob Shepard identifies operating factors to consider when consolidating a group of distributed control rooms or evaluating current control rooms for optimum operational accuracy and efficiency. These include: the role of human factors, understanding the operator’s work environment (including activities in upset conditions and managing fatigue), the need for training, and the supervisor’s role. In Part 2 Shepard explores the design and systemic measures to enhance productivity while satisfying needs for process safety and risk management.