Refinery upgrade at Shell Canada

The objective of this study at Shell Canada in Calgary, Alberta, was to improve awareness for human-centered design in the planning of a control room.

The objective of this study at Shell Canada in Calgary, Alberta, was to improve awareness for human-centered design in the planning of a control room. In front-end engineering and design (FEED), “first-time-right smart design tools” were used in conjunction with a structured buy-in process of stakeholders. The human-machine interface (HMI) was also analyzed, taking into account the physical human factors engineering (HFE) interface involving the operator’s age, size, training, skills and intelligence; physical environment of lighting, noise and climate; and cognitive organizational HFE of job design, communication and task.

The smart design tools and techniques used for the control room and console planning were:

  • Task/link analysis and adjacency diagram
  • Facility siting diagrams
  • 3D computer aided design (CAD) visuals
  • Stakeholders and end users were involved throughout the process

The economic benefits of the HFE-influenced and user-centered design were reduction of:

  • Capital expenditures (CapEx) by 0.25-5.0%
  • Engineering hours by 1-10%
  • Redesign and late changes by 1-5%
  • Project duration time up to 40% (reduced approval cycles)
  • Operational maintenance by 3-6% per year

A cost savings of up to 15% in CapEx can be realized by using HFE throughout the design process, and the satisfaction level with the overall project was high to very high because the end users were involved in the design decisions throughout each phase. HFE costs were .004-0.9% of the engineering costs.

For more, read Control's full story, "Human factors engineering delivers ROI."

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