Updated: Jul 19
Designing an Ergonomic Control Room Layout
We start the design process by understanding that no two control rooms are the same. That is why we design a custom solution for all of our clients, whether we are talking about the dimensions of the floor layout, the number of users working in the same room, the type of equipment used (CPUs, KVMS, Monitors), etc. With over 20 years of experience designing and manufacturing technical furniture solutions for a vast array of industries, we have worked with air traffic control, public safety, chemical and petrochemical, telecommunications, transportation, oil and gas, and military and government operations. While these industries share some similarities, every project needs to be assessed through a unique lens.
The Control Room Design Process
When designing a new control room environment, we work hand in hand with the different stakeholders in the organization throughout the project, to make sure that every aspect corresponds to what our client needs. In order to ensure that nothing gets missed in terms of ergonomics, it can be helpful to start with the macro-environment in mind and move towards the end-user. The framework consists of the following:
The Floor Layout: It is important to take into account many factors when looking at maximizing the efficiency of the workflow of the people and processes of the room. Tangible factors like electrical, ventilation, and data are obviously important when planning your control room layout. On the other hand, intangible elements such as noise, lighting, colors in the room, the grouping of people, overall feel and atmosphere of the room are often overlooked during this process. Learn more
The Console: A console that is designed with the end-user in mind has the benefit of increasing productivity in the workplace. Users who have to stay at their station for many hours feel less tired, more comfortable, and can therefore stay focused on their tasks. Building an ergonomic console involves the integration of multiple features such as height-adjustable work surfaces but it also means that the furniture can hold all the IT equipment required to perform the job such as multiple screens, power and data ports, KVMs, and much more.
Common Types of Control Room Console Configurations
How Do You Create An Efficient Control Room Floor Layout?
Ergonomics has become an integral part of the design of office and control center equipment and environments. The implementation of a proper ergonomics program has been shown to positively benefit both the operator and the employer. Read More
Keep in mind the main purpose of the control room. Is it a dispatch communication center, a security control room, an industrial plant control room? As an example, in industrial applications, safety is the most important factor. You have to eliminate tripping hazards, wide walk areas, reduced clutter on the surface on the consoles so that items are not blocking and controls of the console or IT equipment.
Is there anything working against team collaboration and assistance in the control room? Does the layout and console design encourage verbal communication with co-workers? Can a supervisor see all operators in the control room? Can they walk to them in the most realistically direct path? As an example, in an EMS communications room, 5-6 seconds of walk time matter, when a supervisor needs to assist a new call taker with an emergency on the line. Separating the console placement to allow walkaround gives flexibility as well. It can save walking around two or 3 consoles just to get to one.
Request a Free Floor Design!
At Sustema, our consoles are designed with a firm understanding of the rigorous conditions that operators face in the control room environment. Please let us know if you have any questions regarding our product and services by contacting us at 1-800-455-8450 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.