Building a 2020 control room

Think Again about this application example: a control room designed for 2020 attracts young engineering prospects, among other benefits. See five control room design challenges and three control room design tips.

04/20/2016


Michiel Tijsseling, Dow Chemical process automation leader, in providing control room design advice at the ARC Group Industry Forum, in Orlando, Fla., said control strategy also need to be considered. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering, CFE MediSmart applications of automation technologies increase safety, improve quality, decrease downtime, and, perhaps, in an unintended benefit, can attract younger engineers. These were among application lessons learned from a major chemical company that installed a new control room designed with the year 2020 in mind, among presentations at the ARC Group Industry Forum, in February, in Orlando, Fla.

Control room 2020

Michiel Tijsseling, Dow Chemical process automation leader, worked on a control room design for year 2020 for two units at Oyster Creek OC-1001 Hydrocarbons Command Center, Freeport, Texas

Before the upgrade, the plant had 1991 state-of-the-art control rooms with computer floors full of spiders. The goal was to build a control room and training facility better than what people could buy for home use.

Easy human-machine-interface (HMI) navigation was needed. Small screens with five layers wouldn't be adequate. Communication and navigation were considered in the design.

The building exterior is blast and hurricane proof, and all options were considered including a mobile no-control-room option. The result was a future-proof design for operations, since controllability of the process is a function of the operator, Tijsseling said.

Dow Chemical, Oyster Creek facility has a hurricane and blast resistant control room building, as shown at the ARC Group Industry Forum, in Orlando, Fla. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering, CFE Media

"We use state-based control. If there's a trip, the steps in-between are shown, along with what happens automatically, to help the operator do what's needed," Tijsseling said.

Three plants are supported in one area, with separate areas for operations and support roles, nearby, but not in the way of each other. The control rooms are central to all operator needs.

Non-negotiables were cyber security, no dongles, and a special, separate server and client room to preview, review, and audit what's needed.

The new design creates a reliable interface to the process for control, and it is redundant in a smart way, so any one component of failure doesn't create outage, explained Tijsseling. Telecommunications and those in charge of analyzers wanted to use part of the area, but those were separated, as well. The 2020 design is five generations beyond 1980 technologies with task-oriented sheets and interfaces for commissioning and startup, upset conditions, smooth operations, integration of information and procedure access, and an integrated site for the three plants, suppliers (feedstock), and clients.

Three 55-in. screens provide a large area overview, and a task sheet is shown on a 23-in. screen. Within 30 seconds, an operator can know the status of plant. It fulfils operator needs, rather than all operator wishes. But it shows well. Local engineering-minded students were impressed with ergonomics and layout and design supporting physical needs, lighting, noise, temperature, and workflow.

Dow Chemical Oyster Creek 2020 control room design incorporates three 55-in. wide screens that provide an overview of plant operations and a 23-in. wide task screen, as explained at the ARC Group Industry Forum, in Orlando, Fla. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, C

"What do I need to work here?" asked one student, according to Tijsseling. An executive taking a tour brought additional co-workers the next day.

Three control room design tips

Working on a control room design? Tijsseling offered three points of advice.

1) Start early. Before drawing plans or building, consider control drawings also.

2) Don't finish early. Continue until the design is optimal. Work on it every day and make additional investments in graphics.

3) Use plenty of experts and not only those familiar with the previous design. Get information from industry and experts to get people involved. Seek a breakthrough by getting involved early, listening to end users to set the groundwork for operators of the future.

Dow Chemical Oyster Creek 2020 control room design often creates a Wow! reaction among visitors, said Michiel Tijsseling, Dow Chemical process automation leader, at the ARC Group Industry Forum, in Orlando, Fla. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineerin

Intelligent control room design can create a futuristic and functional means to improve operations.

Mark T. Hoske is content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media, mhoske@cfemedia.com.

ONLINE extra More information is included above and below with the expanded online version of this article. 

Five control room design challenges

Dow Chemical Oyster Creek 2020 control room design puts the operators in the center and support facilities in surrounding areas, as shown at the ARC Group Industry Forum, in Orlando, Fla. The black squares are support pillars. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, ConControl room design challenges, according to Michiel Tijsseling, Dow Chemical process automation leader, at the 2016 ARC Group Industry Forum in Orlando, Fla., include the following:

1. Most operator graphical displays are subpar because they:

a. Don't present the most important information to the operator

b. Mimic faceplates or process and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs)

c. Don't tell enough about the process.

2. Control room design often is an afterthought in process plants.

3. Optimal control room design benefits safety, operational excellence, and reduces unplanned incidents.

4. Analog panels often gave operators a good overview of the process, but cathode ray tube (CRT) screen changed that.

5. The science of control room design needs to progress from ergonomics to ergonometrics, which includes maximizing productivity as well as minimizing discomfort.

Mark T. Hoske is content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media, mhoske@cfemedia.com.

Consider this

What automation projects could improve your metrics? Have you quantified those benefits in your proposals?



Engineers' Choice Awards
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by Control Engineering subscribers.
System Integrator Giants
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
How to Maximize Factory Automation Efficiency with Low Cost Machine Vision
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Wireless Reliability in Harsh Environments
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
Human Factors and the Impact on Plant Safety
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
August 2018
Augmented reality and virtual reality education, autotuning PID control, cybersecurity advice, educating engineers
July 2018
Ladder logic best practices and object-oriented programming, safety instrumented systems, enclosure design issues and challenges, process control advice
June 2018
Discrete and process sensor fundamentals, autotuning controls, system integrator roundtable
Edge Computing
This article collection contains several articles on how today's technologies heap benefits onto an edge-computing architecture such as faster computing, better networking, more memory, smarter analytics, cloud-based intelligence, and lower costs.
Data Center Design
Data centers, data closets, edge and cloud computing, co-location facilities, and similar topics are among the fastest-changing in the industry.
PLCs
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) represent the logic (decision) part of the control loop of sense, decide, and actuate. Featured articles in this digital report compare PLCs and programmable automation controllers (PACs), industrial PCs, and robotic controllers.
SIDB

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, progressive cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
John O. Ayuk, PE, CFSE, PMP, CAP
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
Doug Baker
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Engineers' Choice Awards
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by Control Engineering subscribers.
System Integrator Giants
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
How to Maximize Factory Automation Efficiency with Low Cost Machine Vision
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Wireless Reliability in Harsh Environments
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
Human Factors and the Impact on Plant Safety
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
August 2018
Augmented reality and virtual reality education, autotuning PID control, cybersecurity advice, educating engineers
July 2018
Ladder logic best practices and object-oriented programming, safety instrumented systems, enclosure design issues and challenges, process control advice
June 2018
Discrete and process sensor fundamentals, autotuning controls, system integrator roundtable
Edge Computing
This article collection contains several articles on how today's technologies heap benefits onto an edge-computing architecture such as faster computing, better networking, more memory, smarter analytics, cloud-based intelligence, and lower costs.
Data Center Design
Data centers, data closets, edge and cloud computing, co-location facilities, and similar topics are among the fastest-changing in the industry.
PLCs
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) represent the logic (decision) part of the control loop of sense, decide, and actuate. Featured articles in this digital report compare PLCs and programmable automation controllers (PACs), industrial PCs, and robotic controllers.
SIDB

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, progressive cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
John O. Ayuk, PE, CFSE, PMP, CAP
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
Doug Baker
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Engineers' Choice Awards
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by Control Engineering subscribers.
System Integrator Giants
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
How to Maximize Factory Automation Efficiency with Low Cost Machine Vision
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Wireless Reliability in Harsh Environments
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
Human Factors and the Impact on Plant Safety
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
August 2018
Augmented reality and virtual reality education, autotuning PID control, cybersecurity advice, educating engineers
July 2018
Ladder logic best practices and object-oriented programming, safety instrumented systems, enclosure design issues and challenges, process control advice
June 2018
Discrete and process sensor fundamentals, autotuning controls, system integrator roundtable
Edge Computing
This article collection contains several articles on how today's technologies heap benefits onto an edge-computing architecture such as faster computing, better networking, more memory, smarter analytics, cloud-based intelligence, and lower costs.
Data Center Design
Data centers, data closets, edge and cloud computing, co-location facilities, and similar topics are among the fastest-changing in the industry.
PLCs
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) represent the logic (decision) part of the control loop of sense, decide, and actuate. Featured articles in this digital report compare PLCs and programmable automation controllers (PACs), industrial PCs, and robotic controllers.
SIDB

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, progressive cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
John O. Ayuk, PE, CFSE, PMP, CAP
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
Doug Baker
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me