Just as the needs of network management, production and security change over time, the control rooms that oversee these activities also change. Control rooms today must be dynamic and designed with aesthetics, ergonomics and performance in mind. Control room desks can be optimized to meet user needs and improve productivity.
Problems concerning the operations and design of furniture in control and command centers
There are numerous problems that challenge modern operations. They include:
- Inability of operators to have an adequate overview of all the work
- The environment is not designed for the total number of operators
- Human Machine Interface (HMI) not optimized
- Display screens not designed for the room and the operator’s needs
- Poor integration of closed circuit television (CCTV) and telecommunication equipment
- Lack of attention to ergonomics, comfort and operator convenience
Furniture Design Considerations
Today, most control and command centers are custom designed. The reason for this is that several factors are influencing the design and style of the control room. Furniture and console manufacturers consider a variety of factors:
- Size and shape of the room
- Number of people occupying the space at the same time
- Adequate lighting of the activity and ambient brightness
- Operator comfort and practicality
- Number of computer monitors that an operator can adequately manage
- Type and physical characteristics of the technology used
- Type of monitoring and recording (general or advanced AV)
- Time and how the operator will use the equipment
Improve productivity with appropriate furniture
Over the years, various solutions have been used to improve the productivity of control room operators. When designing the appropriate furniture for the job, you need to consider the following:
- Suitable working environment: Designers should create an environment keeping in mind the function and responsibility of each operator. Operators generally oversee all work that takes place in the control room. Operators must be close to monitoring screens, close to computers to enter data and reach of communication devices in an emergency. The desks in the control room must be designed in such a way that they can be easily and quickly adjusted as needed.
- HMI increased: The main objective of the control room design is ergonomics which ensures an efficient interaction of the operator with staff and equipment without constraints or pressures (HMI). The control room desks should be adjusted to an appropriate height. The size of the text and images on the display must be enlarged for easy viewing. Adequate lighting should be available to allow reading and writing. All equipment must be easily accessible and equipment and materials must be stored properly.
- Seamless navigation systems: Whether you are using a large screen or a connected network of display systems, you need to use a solid navigation system that allows operators to move smoothly between multiple monitors and software.
- Show walls: Large display screens or video walls should be used, where possible, to increase the amount of important information acquired for monitoring and collaboration for training and troubleshooting. Staff numbers, viewing distances and angles must be considered when selecting the appropriate display technology.
- CCTV and Telecom equipment: The integration of CCTV and telecommunication equipment offers another level of information sharing and convenience. Operators should have control of cameras and recording devices and the ability to respond to problems that occur.
The careful design of the control room furniture meets the needs of the operators and transforms the control rooms into sophisticated and productive environments, fundamental for the success of the organizations they support.
by Jerry Herrington