GE MyFleet Persona Template. The primary focus of my day is keeping the unit online safely. Control Room Operator. Glen H, Control Room Operator, Inland Empire Energy Center. Control Room Operator. MANTRAS Question Everything Constantly Learn Be Level-Headed.
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Control Room Operator
“You’re job is on the line when you take over”
Dass, Control Room Operator,
Dan is a control room operator in Alabama. Before taking a seat in the control room, he started out in the field, learning to maintain the plant down to each pipe and valve. Once he joined the control room team, it took Dan 4 months to fully memorize the hundreds of screens needed to monitor and maintain the plant during his twelve-hour shift. Dan’s passion for the industry started in the armed forces, when he was stationed in the Navy Nuclear Program.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Cimplicity / Simatics / Ovation
Pi Historian ProcessBook
Precisely define your space to keep the plant running
React to what’s happening at the microsecond level
Develop a “feel” for how physical and digital systems should work
Precisely define your space to keep the plant running.
“Your job is on the line when you take over.” - Dass
Control Room Operators manually configure their workspace because they seek consistency in the structures they create. This is especially important during shift turn-overs. Unsuccessful software upgrades, touchy systems, and continual “nuisance alarms” can be perceived as dangerous distractions that will reduce their trust in the tools they use. Many of them served in the Armed Forces and are 110% committed to carrying out their duty to the best of their ability—they expect the same caliber or integrity from their equipment.
How can we design a system that remembers a CRO’s last configuration to let them pick-up where they’ve left off?
How can create a trustworthy system that arms CRO’s with relevant information they need to start their shift?
React to what’s happening at the microsecond level.
“The alarm queue is the first line of defense…When you get an alarm, you still have to figure out what it means.”
Control Room Operators can be responsible for reviewing 10+ screens per unit at once. They have to be able to understand the phenomena behind an immense volume of constantly fluctuating raw data over time. For this reason, many control rooms have additional screens (both physical and digital) that they construct to highlight key real-time information they can cross-reference with trends and logic rules.
How can we provide enough context, or the “why” behind an alarm? How can we provide navigation to information at a moment’s notice?
Develop a “feel” for how physical and digital systems should work.
“You gotta have a feel for it…you can’t put your finger on it, but it doesn’t look right.” - Glenn
By the time a Control Room Operator earns a seat in the Control Room, they have an intuitive understanding of how a plant should normally run. But this doesn't happen quickly, and folks must learn the normal rhythm of a plant through experience. Many CROs start their career by memorizing the tag numbers and locations of every valve and part to develop an intrinsic map of the plant. When they learn software, they have to connect that mental map to 544+ screens. They have to develop, sharpen and reapply their mental model to multiple tools simply to keep abreast of what’s happening in the now at the plant. How might we encourage faster navigation and learning through use of muscle memory?