Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

ABB launches environmental monitoring solution for control room operators

ABB is launching a new digital solution to give control room operators insight into their own environmental conditions, with the possibility to adjust them according to their individual preferences.

As part of its unified, cross-industry, digital offering, ABB Ability, the solution adapts to each individual’s needs by measuring factors such as air quality, temperature, lighting environment and humidity.

Operators also receive information on factors such as how long they have been standing or sitting, with recommendations for actions that will increase their well-being.

“At ABB we really understand the crucial role an optimised control room environment has for a business. The wrong environment can lead to human error that can cost a business dearly,” says Pierre Skönnegård, ABB’s Global Product Manager for Control Room Solutions.

“In fact, 40 per cent of all industrial downtime is due to operator errors caused by fatigue. By creating the right environment, this new solution will go a long way to addressing the problem,” he adds.

A pilot project using the new application is already under way at ABB’s long-term partner, Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) and it will be rolled out globally in the first quarter of 2019.

“Operator well-being in the control room is a key element for consideration in project development.” says Larisa Rizvanovic, Senior Scientist at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.

“We will be exploring this new digital solution from ABB with our industrial partners, so that they too can maximize the benefits it brings for their operators.”

The solution allows the creation a number of preferences and personal settings at any workstation, making it ideal  for businesses working in shifts and for those running a 24/7 control room operation.

Optimised light in the control room, for example, decreases the risk of workers developing eye health problems. The right balance between the monitors and the surrounding lights is crucial and can now easily be monitored and adjusted.

The Cloud-based application works in synergy with many other ABB Ability™ solutions, and provides a platform for information, which can be shared between systems in the near-future.

The consolidation and analysis of the collected data stored in the cloud is presented on a well-being/safety dashboard. Data is ranked automatically according to the important standards, e.g. ISO 11064 Ergonomic Design of Control Centres.

Specific business-related KPIs can be determined in relation to human factors and ergonomics, meaning that continued learning can take place, taking the operator control room into the future.