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Control Room Layout and Design

Like the design of almost all man-machine systems, the key in control center design is to understand the functional requirements of the system prior to creation of the physical layout. Too often the first step in control center design is to start sketching out what rooms will look like. Without understanding the requirements for the building, this will likely result in a sub-optimal design.

The last step in the process should be the physical layout of the building and rooms for, without first defining the people who will be in the rooms and how the rooms will be used, a layout that satisfies those requirements will strictly be the result of luck.

Beville Engineering, Inc., has assisted in the design of control centers for BP, Chevron, Citgo, ConocoPhillips, and Shell, among others. Our approach focuses on the human aspects of the center, concentrating on the following to drive the layout of the control room:

  • Who will be using the control center, and what will they be doing?
  • What workstations are required for each position?
  • How do the control center elements interact?
  • What process interactions are represented?

Beville offers a free copy of our manual that discusses control center layout and design. Here is a brief snippet:

"Workstation Design

The main part of the control center is the control room, which itself is dominated by the individual operating consoles. Poor workstation arrangement is a major source of dissatisfaction with new control centers. The irony is that, often, the workstations are exactly what was asked for by the operators and approved by them. It is here that the adage of 'give them what they need, not what they want' becomes paramount, because what is asked for is often at odds with what is needed."

For more information, email us for a copy of our Control Center Design Manual or contact us at 937-434-1093.

For further information, visit the links below.

| Plant Modernization and Consolidation | One Day Human Factors Plant Audit |


Article Published By
Changing Workforce Drives Control Room Modernization Automation World
Improving Human Effectiveness Automation World
Operator Interfaces: Moving from Comfortable to Most Effective Automation World
Operator Performance Gets Better: Control Magazine


This year's Fall meeting for the Center for Operator Performance will be October 24-26 in Corpus Christi. For more information, please contact Lisa Via. Guests are always welcome!


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David Strobhar's book, "Human Factors in Process Plant Operation," is now available in both hardcover and Kindle e-book.

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