On Thursday, June 8, 2017 and Tuesday, June 20, 2017 the ISA water/wastewater division held a webinar series that discussed Control Room Design for Human Performance Improvement and Alarms/Operator Intervention. We are pleased to make the webinar available as a video along with a PDF of the presentation slides.
Special thanks to our presenters Ian Nimmo and Stephen Maddox from User Centered Design Services. The presentation was hosted by Juliana Wafer, Membership Chair of the ISA water/wastewater division.
Like what you see? Come to the 2017 ISA Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls Symposium from August 8 to 10, 2017 to hear many other great speakers.
Information on each webinar is below:
Webinar – Thursday, June 8, 2017
Title: “Control Room Design for Human Performance Improvement”
Speaker: Ian Nimmo
Ian Nimmo is the president of User Centered Design Services, a human-factors engineering company. He is a published author, respected speaker, and operations expert that was instrumental in the development of several RAGAGEPs (Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices). Ian is an expert in human factors, process operations, process engineering, and operator performance. He has been involved with automation and control room operations for 50 years. Ian originally created and directed the Abnormal Situation Management Consortium (ASM) while with Honeywell. The ASM was Ian’s mission to discover the best practices for reducing the risks associated with abnormal process situations. A focus on improving an operator’s ability to detect, diagnose and respond. This included extensive research into the control building environment and operator interfaces. The ASM Consortium research team quickly realized alarms were only a symptom of a much larger problem, the lack of situation awareness and human factors in the control room. Ian set out to change the culture by raising 20 million dollars to continue the research. Ian has spent the last 20 years expanding on the ASM research, helping engineers and operation managers implement solutions to reduce downtime and prevent major incidents. Ian has interviewed over 1000 operators; he knows what they need to be successful. Over the years, Ian has helped hundreds of plant managers meet their goals in production, quality, and safety. Ian has published over 100 papers and has written three books: The high-performance HMI, Operator Effectiveness, and The Control Room Design Guide.
Presenter Contact Info:
Ian Nimmo, President & CEO, User Centered Design Services
Operators are a key component to achieving operational excellence. They have a direct effect on quality, equipment, production, safety and can prevent major incidents. They are a safety layer. Their work environment is critical to their success. The control room design must be based on the user requirements, operator tasks, and objectives. We must address human factors, focus on situation awareness, and bridge the gap between technology and human performance. Your control room designer must understand the operators’ job, human limitations, and the process. The control room design is a reflection of the company, the safety culture, and the future of the business, it is where the brain of the operation is monitored, controlled, and managed.
Webinar – Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Title: “Alarms and Operator Intervention (A flawed safety layer)”
Speaker: Stephen Maddox
Mr. Maddox is a published author and has extensive background in Alarm Management. Steve started his career 19 years ago working with the very first alarm management software company that was well known for replacing the loud paper eating tree destroying alarm printers that used to take up space in the control rooms. The alarm software tool evolved along with Steve’s career as more and more engineers needed help managing nuisance alarms and alarm floods. Over the years, Steve has helped thousands of customers develop solutions to improve situation awareness through alarm management, HMI design, and control room design. Over the last decade, Steve has participated in solutions development for 50 pipeline companies due to the pipeline industry PHMSA regulations for Control Room Management. Today Steve focus’s his time helping engineers and plant managers achieve high performance in operations by focusing on the needs of the operators.
Presenter Contact Info:
Stephen Maddox, Consultant, User Centered Design Services
Safety layers like interlocks, safety Instrumented systems, and alarms are critical to ensure safe operations. Alarms alert operators of abnormal situations that require action to prevent environmental, regulatory, safety, and financial consequences. Alarm management has been a major topic of interest for the past 20 years. Most if not all companies have focused on improving the alarms but very few have seen return on investment. A best in class alarm system is important but what else do you do to make sure operators detect, manage, and prevent abnormal situations and the negative consequences of an incident? Alarm management alone does not mean operators will prevent an incident. Operators are the safety layer, the alarms are only one of the tools they use, what else do we do to make sure the operator safety layer does not contain weaknesses?