InTech

MAY-JUN 2019

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20 INTECH MAY/JUNE 2019 WWW.ISA.ORG PROCESS AUTOMATION to determine manufacturing obstacles, improve efficiencies, and develop best practices. World-class expertise, meth- ods, and tools are now available. Improving the working environment As shown in previous sections, most simple parts of traditional operator work have been taken over by auto- mation. Modern operators now have a very different profile. They supervise large numbers of control modules and must be able to quickly diagnose com- plex situations, collaborate with vari- ous support units, and coordinate field operators and maintenance personnel. They decide when it is time to bring in external expertise and manage the temporal integration of remote experts. To make use of their full potential, they need a work environment that really supports their work. A challenge will be how to design the more collaborative environments that will replace traditional control rooms. Often those centers will no longer be physically close to the process, but they need to be much better integrated with remote service communities in their own company and with service provid - ers and suppliers. New collaboration centers can also be implemented to work through different steps in modern - ization before the entire technology and organization is ready for all benefits. The involvement of experienced control room designers from an early stage is even more important in the de- sign of next-generation, collaborative operations centers. They require a to- tally new approach and "future integra- tion" thinking. As the traditional way of building control rooms becomes obso- lete, new best practices will have to be defined. The new control centers will have fewer operators, and the operator role will evolve from reactive to predictive problem solving and analytic operat- ing. It will become more important to have motivated, stimulated, and more alert operators with better education to deal with increasingly bigger parts of the production process. The space around the operator will be more connected to many other functions, such as IT/OT support, multifunctional support, technical and remote support, asset risk man- agement, alarms, safety, cybersecu- rity, and maintenance management, that previously were often separated from the control room operations. More frequent interactive communi - cation with different remote service people to jointly solve troubleshoot- ing and optimization tasks will require a work environment that supports this kind of work as well as if they were in the same room. These new workflows, still rare today, but which will be the norm tomorrow, have completely new requirements con- cerning room layout, working zones, screens, cameras, analytical tools, and remote collaboration workspaces. An example of the new design is five tradi- tional control rooms with 12 operators will be replaced by a collaborative center hosting two operators, who will call in remote expertise on demand. The space around the operators will be more con- nected to many different functions that were previously separated. There is ongoing research to under- stand how we can establish an individual health improvement microenvironment that can be adapted to each operator. A typical integrated platform will be much more than an advanced motorized op- erator desk. This platform is a complete health improvement microenvironment that can be adapted and even automated to change for each individual operator depending on individual needs. For ex- ample, the distance between eyes and screens can automatically be adjusted with imperceptible slow speed to release muscle tension in the eyes, and the light- ing can shift from warmer to colder light during the day. These are just two exam- ples of how technology can support the health and well-being of the operator. New technology and big data ana- lytics make it possible to create a data-driven "day by day" improvement program for operators. The new collab- orative operations center will turn big analyzed data into actions and, thanks to Industry 4.0, yield benefits by be- coming faster, safer, more competitive, and of course more profitable. New generation of operators Generational shift will affect business markets and the industry sectors as the older generation (i.e., baby boom- ers) retires. One challenge will be to at- tract the next generation of operators, often referred to as Generation Y, the gaming generation, or the multitasking generation, into the control room work - ing environment. An average, a gamer executes up to 300 actions per minute, Figure 4. The only way to encourage the next generation of operators to work in control rooms is with a holistic approach to the control room working environment. Introducing gamification can be a motivation for learning, education, and passing knowledge from baby boomers to the gaming and multitasking generation.

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