Well-designed control rooms balance efficiency with ergonomics.
We are experts in Control Room Design
Smith LaRock has over thirty-five years of combined staff experience designing efficient, ergonomic control rooms that help create better vigilance, alertness, and less fatigue for operators in a 24/7 work environment. The importance of operator vigilance and alertness is vital in an industrial plant facility. The safety of those on the plant can be determined by operators in the control room. This is why we focus on the Human to Machine Interface, ergonomics, lighting, and acoustics for the console operators.
Over the past couple decades the emergence of new technologies, new ergonomic standards, and increased public awareness of workplace health issues have combined to inspire a dramatic shift in console and control room design. Today’s control rooms are more functional, and more aesthetically appealing than earlier generations.
MICRO TO MACRO APPROACH
The main focus of our designs starts with the people then we move out to the environment and building design around the operators. This is why we have such a high emphasis on Human Factors and partner up with our Human Factors specialists.
The micro approach to designing consoles into the layout of a control room should contribute to achieving the performance objectives established for the space in question, while ensuring that every aspect of interaction between human, machine, and the environment – from raised flooring to acoustical concerns, from indirect lighting to the overall well-being, health, and safety of each operator – is taken into account.
A micro to macro approach ensures that decisions on such matters as finish selection, operating practices, working environments, and furniture choices all derive from operating demands. No matter how well designed a control room might be, the overall system will fail if operators are overloaded, undertaking tasks for which they are poorly trained, or straining to read displays due to eye-strain, or failure to react in a timely manner due to lack of alertness and vigilance. With our micro to macro approach, the limitations of the operator are automatically included and variances between operator capabilities and control room demands are avoided.
Our Human Factors partners look at the goals of the control center through Operations Practices Assessment, Staffing Level Assessment, Workplace Design, and Human-Machine Interface Design.