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Situational Awareness: Complexity Made Simple

1 December 2015
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The Next Leap in Industrial Human Machine Interface Design

Over the past few decades, the way in which people have interacted with industrial systems has continued to evolve. Such changes have been driven by the needs of the operations staff to improve the way that they use, manage and maintain such systems, coupled with ongoing advances in technology.

With growing challenges, such as greater volumes of data and increased operator load, it is essential that visualisation software now provides a clear and meaningful view of operations, so that when a response is required this can be spotted and acted upon quickly and efficiently.

Having an uncluttered, meaningful view of all operations is what we call ‘Situational Awareness’.

The trends and challenges driving the need for increased situational awareness:

– Larger systems and increased span of control
– Greater volumes of data and the increased operator load
– Increased levels of automation can bring unintended consequences
– Remote operations bring with them the challenge and increased risk of distance

The Stages of Situational Awareness

  • Perception of new information
  • Comprehension of the information
  • Projection of the impact on organisational goals

Through the use of Situational Awareness tools and techniques provided by InTouch HMI and Wonderware System Platform SCADA software, the stages highlighted above can be more efficiently followed by operators, irregardless of experience.

Such tools and techniques include: goal-orientated design, effective window structure, effective colour usage, actionable alarm management and effective design elements.

Find out more:

Whitepaper: To read more about the challenges bringing about an increased need for improved and clearer visualisation, we have a white paper available to read here.

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