Throughout this article I will try to answer this question.
The control center is a space where organizations monitor complex and critical operations, so the design of this space should not be taken lightly. Due to the complexity and variety of the equipment, technology and personnel, as well as the criticality of the information that is managed, it is necessary to consider a series of considerations that reduce the risks and optimize the investment that must necessarily be made.
Why carry out a specialized design for the control center?
The design and implementation of a control center is not a simple task, since it is not a space in which workstations with computers facing a large-format screen are “simply” located. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the particularities of the critical environment in order to carry out a project to implement or renovate the space.
Initially, it is important to consider that having a company specialized in the development of control centers, which has carried out hundreds of projects of this type, will be essential to guarantee an optimal and error-free design, and thus ensure that the requirements, industry standards and best practices are met. There are specific criteria that will allow defining the distribution and spaces to be taken into account, the technical, ergonomic and quality requirements so that once the control center is launched it has the lowest number of incidents and operational continuity is guaranteed.
In this case, it is essential to know the ergonomic regulations to achieve a 100% healthy work environment, since in many cases the operation is carried out 24/7 with long work days.
Secondly, it is important that from the beginning of the project the technical and engineering requirements of the organization and space are understood, as well as the adaptations and equipment that must be in this type of space. In this way, the investment will be optimized and unnecessary reprocessing and additional costs that can be generated when there is no 360° vision of the work will be avoided.
Surely, the initial investment of a project designed under international industry standards will be greater than a project carried out without parameters or organization, but over time the problems that come with not having a well-designed and executed space will be seen: the development of the activity will not be completely effective or productive, the operators will develop work problems due to lack of ergonomic conditions, the operation will have to be stopped to make readjustments or repairs, etc.
In almost all critical environments the volume of equipment, screens and wiring is very high, so it is essential to know what options exist to organize, hide and distribute them. Sometimes the equipment will need to be at the operators’ workstation, but other times it may be in an adjacent room. It is also essential to know the different types of raised floor that can be installed to hide the wiring, what paneling can be suitable for soundproofing the space or what height the luminaires should be to avoid reflections on the screens in the space.
Thirdly, there is the optimization of spaces and productivity. Through professional customized technical furniture solutions, technologies for easy visualization and content management, and an environment with appropriate acoustic, lighting and air conditioning conditions, both the optimal distribution of space and the productivity of operators can be improved. A more ergonomic space not only helps with operator concentration and efficiency, it also improves workers’ job satisfaction and health, reducing fatigue and the risk of injury, as well as promoting overall well-being.
How to start?
While understanding the design of a control center can be a complex process, you need a clear vision to know where to start. Thus, it is recommended at least to know:
• What is the purpose and main objective of the control center and what will be the dynamics that will be carried out in it..
• What requirements and limitations exist: budgetary, spatial, technological, etc.
• What will be the location or area available.
• What functionalities, scopes and expectations exist on the part of the different teams (operations, technology, infrastructure, administration, etc.).
The steps to follow in the design, implementation and start-up of the control center would be advisable to leave in the hands of experts to achieve the best results. A first meeting between the expert company and the client to learn about their activity, their specific needs, the technical requirements or the space will always be mandatory. After which, multiple layouts will be created until the optimal and most suitable one for the client is reached.
The proposal of the most appropriate technical furniture or technological solutions for content management, such as a universal platform for the management of operators in their workplace or for controlling the videowall, more advanced and that facilitate efficiency, will be essential. All of this, without forgetting the aesthetic aspect, since a space aligned with the corporate image of the organization, as well as a modern aesthetic with pure lines, will involve operators to a greater extent in their task.
In our particular case, we focus on designing control centers projected into the future both in their capacity and versatility for adaptation, as well as technologically and aesthetically, and with a useful life of more than 10 years that will avoid adaptations, repairs, and/or modernizations.
The main objective is to develop a space where maximum efficiency and productivity are achieved, reducing downtime and errors or accidents; benefits that result in cost savings for the organization.
All this through a neutral external vision that allows us to propose a transversal solution to the expectations of the different areas of the organization and putting at the center the application of the best practices and regulations for control centers and ergonomics, and selecting the equipment. and technological adaptations that best fit the budget and expectations of the project.