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You may know that your control room is dated. You may get the feeling that its performance is not optimal. An audit may be just what you need.
There are three reasons for an audit
- People – Do you worry about the “human” element? Retaining key staff, attracting new talent, and ensuring safety and peak performance in a 24/7 mission-critical environment are all important reasons to audit your control room.
- Technology – Upgrading your technology? Placing in new technology in a control room that was designed more than 10 years ago is not going to be easy. But there are improvements to lighting, furniture and acoustics that just may help you get the most of your investment.
- ISO Compliance – Is your facility in compliance? ISO 11064 set international standards for control room ergonomic best practices in the year 2013. Following ISO 11064 recommendations is one of several tools we use to design operator-centric control rooms.
There are seven common control room inefficiencies
Many can be easily identified, and solutions are often straightforward. How effective is your control room?
- Lighting – Glare, non-dimmable fixtures or lack of proper lighting can lead to misinformation or fatigue, with critical consequences.
- Acoustics – Noise can be distracting, or even disruptive, increasing response time.
- Work Flow – Obstacles, inefficient pathways, limited access to meeting and break rooms, proximity to distractions—all compromise efficiency and safety.
- Screen Size – Small, dated screens often don’t allow for all modern data to be displayed.
- Human-Machine Interface – Line of sight and arc of reach must be optimized such that mission-critical reaction time is minimized in the event of an abnormal situation. Basic considerations for comfort can change dramatically across different operators using the same equipment over several shifts.
- Console Configuration – Poorly configured seating arrangements, poor operator adjacency, or poor plant control room layout can thwart collaboration and optimum communication.
- Seating – Stationary or minimally adjustable furniture can cause fatigue and even lead to chronic health issues over time.
Let’s consider in greater depth the three reasons for an audit and subsequent brownfield upgrade.
You know your control room is the heartbeat of your operations. If things are not right in the control room your whole facility and production are compromised. So the control room must not be simply fit for purpose: it must be optimized to elicit the best from your operators, your people. How do you know that your people are safe? How do you ensure that everyone is effective, people are doing the right things, and that those same people are going to stick around and work with you for years to come? It all begins with a control room audit, because the human element is critical to a safe, well-functioning plant.
Furthermore, many operators, including the next generation of talent, are cognizant of ergonomics and understand, among other things, that the proper sitting position—or better yet sit-stand position—can reduce chronic neck and back strain. In the long term attention to ergonomics increases productivity and efficiency, and decreases fatigue, headaches, repetitive motion ailments, and results in less downtime. Your peers in any industry know this—ergonomics is no longer an obscure science on the fringe of industry.
If your control room needs a tech refresh, doing an audit to target other crucial areas needing upgrade is the smartest decision you can make to ensure long-term return-on-investment. For example, does your old console accommodate modern large screens that display so much crucial information? How is glare affected? Line-of-sight to critical information? Are poor acoustics or illogical console configuration hijacking the advances that the new tech promises? Have you considered the implications of the next generation large touch screens on sit-stand work stations? At BAW Architecture, we have.
If you upgrade smart, the whole environment benefits. So don’t make the mistake of putting 2015 technology into a 1980 control room without taking proper consideration of other aspects of the control room that will help you maximize your investment.
Did you know that there are ISO standards for your control room—no matter the industry—and your control room may not be in compliance? Driven by demands for safer, more reliable and efficient operations, ISO requirements were created to standardize best practices associated with operating environments. Indeed, ISO 11064 compliance can act in defense of your company in the event of an catastrophic event, spill or personal injury lawsuit.
Let’s get started
- Contact us at +1 303-388-9500 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- We will send you a brochure outlining our Benchmarking Audit process along with an Initial Questionnaire and projected timeline. Expect the Questionnaire to take approximately 45 minutes to complete.
- A virtual meeting will be conducted to discuss the answers in the Questionnaire.
- An on-site meeting will be arranged with two skilled experts from BAW Architecture. Your operations will be meticulously analyzed pursuant to human factors best practices standards as laid out in ISO 11064.
- A report will be provided, including a virtual presentation, practical guidelines and a prioritized menu of items from which you can pick and choose to get immediate results.
- We work within the realities of your parameters and will suggest the smallest footprint of work for the biggest reward.
- Your menu of options is scalable and can be done in phases. Or it may be something as simple as new LED lighting that will solve your problems.
A sound, scientific approach to control room safety is crucial to a well run plant. Don’t let your dated control room become a hazard to your employees and your company. Contact BAW to schedule a control room audit with the industry experts at BAW.