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Promoting Operator Effectiveness

This is an excerpt from a November/December 2011 InTech magaine article by Tobias Becker. He is senior vice president and Control Technologies Global Business Unit Manager at ABB.

Operator effectiveness is often an overlooked area that can improve the performance and safety of your control system or plant. Yet operator effectiveness is one of the key elements for running a safe, efficient, and profitable plant.

Research shows worldwide process industry losses because of unscheduled downtime and poor quality can exceed $20 billion. Of this, nearly 80% is preventable, with up to 40% being the direct result of operator error.

The good news is there are a number of industry initiatives underway to directly address this challenge. At the same time, there have been dramatic improvements to the tools available to plant operators, as well as innovative uses of existing technologies.

Control rooms and operator displays are being developed to suit the needs of the operator, to promote effectiveness, improve comfort, and present simplified information displays that are easy to understand. The typical control room installation today consists of a collection of displays containing a dizzying array of information about process operations, historic data, and reports covering quality and productivity, with even closed-caption TV monitors displaying the physical state of assets. Everything from field devices and power distribution equipment to CCTV needs to be controlled and operated seamlessly. Through all of this, the operator must be able to access and act upon the exact information needed at any given moment.

Read the full article at InTech magazine.

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