Ergonomic Redesign of an Industrial Control Panel

S Raeisi, R Osqueizadeh, M Maghsoudipour, AS Jafarpisheh

Abstract


Operator's role in industrial control centers takes place in time, which is one of the most important determinants of whether an expected action is going to be successful or not. In certain situations, due to the complex nature of the work, the existing interfaces and already prepared procedures do not meet the dynamic requirements of operator's cognitive demands, making the control tasks unnecessarily difficult. This study was conducted to identify ergonomic issues with a specific industrial control panel, and redesign its layout and elements to enhance its usability. Task and link analysis methodologies were implemented. All essential functions and supporting operations were identified at the required trivial levels. Next, the weight of any possible link between the elements of the panel was computed as a composite index of frequency and importance. Finally, all components were rearranged within a new layout, and a computerized mockup was generated. A total of 8 primary tasks was identified, including 4 system failure handling tasks, switching between manual and automated modes, and 3 types of routine vigilance and control tasks. These tasks were broken down into 28 functions and 145 supporting operations, accordingly. Higher link values were observed between hand rest position and 2 elements. Also, 6 other components showed robust linkages. In conclusion, computer modeling can reduce the likelihood of accidents and near misses in industrial control rooms by considering the operators' misperception or mental burden and correcting poor design of the panels and inappropriate task allocation.

Keywords


Industry; Human engineering; Computer-aided design; Human factors and ergonomics; Man-machine systems



doi: 10.15171/ijoem.2016.756


 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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