AOG improves control centre performance

July 6th, 2017, Published in Articles: EE Publishers


Jurie Weidemann, chairman, SAIMC Tshwane branch with Ilbehr Theron of Yokogawa.

Converting standard HMI to advanced operating graphics (AOG) can improve overall baseline efficiency of a control centre by as much as 25%. Safe and efficient operations rely on control room operator staff being able to quickly identify potential process deviations before the situation reaches an unsafe or undesirable production condition.

Ilbehr Theron of Yokogawa said that research has shown that the root contributor to control room inefficiency is not just in operator training but it revolves around having an operations environment that is aligned with the operator’s mental model and work processes.

Speaking at the monthly technical evening of the SAIMC Tshwane Branch on 5 July 2017 he said that as the younger generation is taking up the space of experienced operators retiring, companies need to consider how they can apply modern technology what will bring new people quicker up to speed and at the same time increase the efficiency of the operation.

Central control rooms with historians and automated systems forces an operator to pay attention to multiple data in a very configurable environment, resulting in operators being overwhelmed with alarms, graphics that make the job harder rather than easier, and an explosion of hard-to-use procedures resulting in a high variability in the quality of operator decisions.

AOG uses greyscales with different colours to highlight certain actions. It is not just about colours but about the hierarchy of graphics, selecting process data on graphics, visualisation of process data, layout of graphics and navigation between graphics. AOG provides advanced decision support using technology to provide the operator with the right information, in the right format, at the right time to make the correct decision.

AOG also improves safety, supports early finding of abnormal situations, and blocks false recognitions. From an operator point of view it improves the work environment, causes less stress, and ensures skill transfer by translating skills of operators and process engineers to explicit knowledge.


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