ABB has installed an Extended Operator Workplace (EOW) at its Commerce Street office in Aberdeen to support its oil and gas customers. The advanced ergonomic workstation will enable ABB to train operators, test control system modifications and upgrades, and simulate software enhancements to customers' existing control systems. The facility will also allow remote monitoring and faultfinding on customer installations.
The ABB EOW is an ergonomically optimised workstation that is designed to enhance the operator's working environment and effectiveness with features that reduce fatigue and extend the operators range of understanding. Incorporating a large, contoured, high-resolution screen up to 3m wide, as well as an array of up to six smaller monitors, the ABB EOW includes an ergonomically designed motorised desk that can be adjusted to suit the needs and working style of operators.
Designed primarily for ABB's System 800xA control system, the EOW at Aberdeen can be linked via a network to other ABB control systems in remote locations, to suit the particular system in use with the customer.
The large, front-projected display normally shows an overview of the process, but can show or incorporate any type of information - for example, a technical drawing or video of key locations on the plant. The individual monitors usually show process displays from different parts of the plant, but can also feature other data such as alarm lists, trends, operator instructions, service and faultfinding information and other documentation. All data is selected according to individual operator needs and all displays can be moved freely between monitors, or spread out over several monitors for enhanced visibility.
John Wood, one of ABB's Account Managers for oil and gas, says: "The EOW gives the operator a much higher level of visibility, saves space compared to the equivalent size of flat screen, back-projection system, and makes it easier for one person to control a complex process. Groups of operators can also more easily discuss what they are seeing from the system."
Variants with larger screen sizes and more monitors enable more control room operators to cope more easily with a larger workload.
Much more than a static background, the large overview screen is an interactive part of the operator's working environment and can be easily adapted to any situation to allow faster, more informed decisions.
Capable of being used both on and offshore, operators are using the EOW in applications as diverse as the remote control of oil and gas processing facilities and even remote commissioning.
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