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Considerations For Your Control Room

Control rooms are technology-driven environments where activities are tracked and problems resolved quickly and correctly.  To operate in these environments, operators require control facilities with adequate space for the operators and with furniture designed in shape and size.  The equipment and storage requirements for the console workstations will be the backbone of the design.

Designing a control area for both consoles and video walls displays is the focus of this designer if that’s an architect, consultant or furniture-video manufacturer.  The project’s space planning piece is critical to its success.  But, mission goals much are understood before proceeding ahead with a solution that meets all 20, and financing allocated.  Embarking on an alternative the proprietor can not afford wastes money time and wreaks havoc.

Factors to consider for management room space planning.

When Xybix is designing a management and command center, a variety of factors must be considered including, but not limited to the following:

The physical plant; doors window and Possible obstacles affecting the management room furniture design and design 

Design of management room furniture along with video wall systems

Space allocated for control room consoles and video screens 

The orientation of control room consoles and video wall screens with consideration to adjoining space and fire egress

Interaction with participants – It is critical that the management room designer interacts with the customer to understand requirements and preferences.  This is something that continues throughout the design process together with the designer making alterations as more information is gleaned from the customer and other participants.  Participants may include electronics systems integrators contractors and end-users.

Space preparation – Before selecting the type and design of control center consoles, the designer must have a vision for the layout depending on the known and the experience which the designer brings into the procedure.

Ergonomics – The designer has to the space program and suggest control room console designs using the latest ergonomic capabilities.  The operators will be working in an environment where technology and furniture have to be durable to stand up to constant use for decades.

Ergonomic attributes would include:

Console furniture design that attracts all tools Close to the operator in a way that is comfortable and suitable 

Adjustable desktop and/or keyboard surface

Adjustable arms for monitors, phones and task lights

Easy accessibility to the cable management system for installation and maintenance

Personal storage that retains the floors and background clear

Large desktop area for reading and writing materials

Reasonable overhead and task lighting

Personal environment control at the desktop level

Versatility – Technology changes quickly, but control room console furniture and video systems are too expensive to discard.  Consequently, wall systems and both furniture should be designed in a means that can be altered, or expanded to satisfy new technology and equipment requirements.

Durability – Modern console furniture must be durable enough to withstand the strain of 24/7 use every year.  These products have to be made from materials meant for this use.  Materials for durability and audio construction is essential to the process.

The goal is an intelligent and advanced control room environment.

Proper Design Is Important

The proper design ultimately saves the business money by bringing together information systems in a combined location reducing reaction time, and downtime during real-time situational awareness and proactive incident response.  Control room design is about the environment.

Control and control rooms utilize software information systems that are designed for, controlling life safety issues, manufacturing quality, system leak, or any measurable system like SCADA, DCS, RTU, Delta V, ABB, Simplex, or site utility programs; those programs are industry-specific or specific function.  It isn’t important which ones are used or how many, they are inputs directed to a control area.  These facilities are typically required to operate 24/7/365 due to the nature of their missions.  Control rooms are inhabited by individual operators, those who track and respond to the incident.  The number of operators required at any given time may change depending upon the quantity and severity of”issues” that arise.  Special purpose control budgets and rooms may increase or decrease the number of attributes but there are specific facets that each control room design should comprise.

Design the room to improve the operator functionality taking into consideration the number of information inputs the operators will need to interface with.  Aside from the systems which are designed to secure, monitor, and control access, the control area design ought to be packed full of ergonomic systems.  Operators work twelve hours shifts, doing dull tasks waiting for critical information to be brought to their attention at any time.

Temperature and humidity ought to be controlled due to and for the huge number of electronics as well as the folks.  Operators need to be comfortable yet alert.

Lighting design considers window architecture, glare, size and number of movie walls or monitors, and many additional factors, but most importantly human eye functionality and fatigue.  There’s a science of angles that should be followed to prevent operator fatigue, optimize performance and encourage operator well-being.

2 big systems that affect the human eye and neck in terms of project performance, shift longevity, biomechanics and strain harm are movie walls and monitors.  In order to help design both of these systems concerning height size and standing, we will need to consider the third system.  Consoles play in the positioning of the other two and bring home the benefits of great design.  Their design is one of the most important aspects in the design of control rooms.  It isn’t obvious on first thought, that console design must address many ergonomic concerns.  Consoles – do they create heat comprising PC’s or are they designed for remote rack-mounted PC’s?  Do they raise and lower to change position from stand to take a seat?  Can the console accommodate a PC monitor system that’s also adjustable for comfort regardless of if the console has been reduced or raised?  Where and how far from a video wall will the console be found?  And what chairs will be utilized at these consoles?  Consoles need to be custom-fit and built to integrate seamlessly with the systems that are designed to work in a professional design.

In conclusion, control and control center designers must offer a detailed solution concerning aesthetics, usability, comfortability, flexibility, and functionality.  This also includes sufficient cooling for electronics, efficient cable management, and exceptional cushioning.  The designer should never eliminate sight of how modern control centers are designed for people working long hours under pressure to significant in operations to neglect.