Safe operations are a top priority for process manufacturers and producers. One major area affecting process and personnel safety is the capabilities and performance of plant operators. The Center for Operator Performance (COP) consortium brings together:
Emerson’s Mark Nixon, a member of the center representing Emerson Process Management, shared some recent research published in IIE Transactions.
…a diverse group of industry, vendor, and academia representatives addressing human capabilities and limitations with research, collaboration, and human factors engineering.
The special issue, Human Factors in Advanced Applications for Process Control, provides an overview of current research efforts into operator training requirements and methods, human-machine interface (HMI) design concepts and HMI and work assessment frameworks.
This research includes recommendations on training methods, novel process visualization displays, working with advanced process control interfaces and more.
Here are the articles included in this special edition [purchase required]:
- Human Factors in Advanced Applications for Process Control
- Advanced Applications in Process Control and Training Needs of Field and Control Room Operators
- Increasing the Effective Span of Control: Advanced Graphics for Proactive, Trend-Based Monitoring
- Evaluating Alternate Visualization Techniques for Overview Displays in Process Control
- Mobile Computing for Field Operator Control: Petrochemical Plant Operations Case Study
- Measuring Workload Weak Resilience Signals at a Rail Control Post
- A Human Factors-Based Assessment Framework for Evaluating Performance in Control Room Interface Design
- Employing a User-Centered Design Approach to Improve Operator Interfaces
This research is used to continue to improve the usability and effectiveness of operator interfaces into distributed control systems like the DeltaV system.
…the value of the user-centered design and task-based approach, a series of generalizable design guidelines were derived, including those intended to reduce operators’ load, increase intuitiveness of manipulation, and increase the ease with which operators could cooperate to make control decisions.
By observing the plant operators working with the operator workstations, they observed two main challenges:
…multiple-resources-based decision making and information findability.
Based on these observations, design recommendations were established. These included simplified navigation, standard search interface, better mapping of parameters to associated devices and a dynamic infographic process using applying colors and shapes to process conditions.
This combination of academic research, automation suppliers and end users helps to advance the technology around performing tasks effectively and efficiently.