Choosing Control Room Consoles – Project Manager Tips

There are many factors to consider when designing consoles to bring together a control room. They will be used hard and expected to perform. Millions of dollars are invested providing information that culminates at them for operators to react quickly. More than ever, the perception that any company is not in total control, must be avoided. Public relations, audits and transparency necessitate the display of complete control and diligence expressed in the investment of professional DCS Control System.

Consoles are at the heart of control rooms.

Room architecture, layouts, desired placements and the number of operators impact console shape. These considerations alone can rarely be satisfied with off the shelf console vendors, but when you consider functionality it becomes much clearer why custom fit consoles ultimately make sense. Console functionality, while designed with the human factor (ergonomics) as top priority, requires being designed to incorporate all the systems brought together within a control room and their efficient accessibility.

In modern control rooms numerous electronic systems will need to be installed into and through every console. Custom built consoles have a distinct advantage being able to integrate any number of different scenarios on an as needed basis. These systems could include CPU trays or racks for PC’s, amplifiers, DVD / blue-ray, audio, switches, KVM or networking, and countless other options or requirements. The custom console interior management of electronic systems and wire management keeps the entire area clean and clutter free, as well as providing discrete yet serviceable placement of electronic systems.

Console work surfaces should be clean and clutter free. Custom manufacturers of consoles can provide dozens of options, from slat walls that keep lighting and monitors off the work surface, to audio or heat/fan controls built into the surface. The work area should be able to raise and lower at the touch of a button.

Consoles by design and functionality are not meant to house reams of paper or typical office accouterments and may require accessory cabinets, desks, and tables designed to surround and compliment the functionality of the console work surface providing storage within close proximity to the operators.

Some custom consoles are manufactured with vented bays for heat escape, some are not. Some consoles are manufactured with germ housing porous materials. Some have edges that pull arm hair, or can scratch forearms when torn where a chair is bumped into it. DCS Control System require durability, health promoting surfaces and good visual lines. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but solid and functional is not necessarily proven in a picture. My advise is to seek out a design with a control room expert, let them know what you want to accomplish and simply visit an existing customer of theirs or their demo room. See and feel the quality, confirm the value they say they add.

News Reporter