During the last decades, computerized operator stations and soft controls have replaced hardwired wall panels in the offshore petroleum industry. Aspects such as maintenance problems, increasing cost, and lack of flexibility motivate this move towards a computerized interface design. There is, however, a general consensus that there is a great potential for improvement with regards to how information is being presented in computerized systems.
IFE (Institute for Energy Technology) in Halden, Norway has developed and patented graphical symbols using a new design scheme called IRD (Information Rich Design). The displays based on this design scheme are not like traditional Piping and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) inspired design, but are based on pattern recognition in addition to use of a new dull color principle where only abnormal situations are highlighted. The new design scheme was initially designed for process interaction, but has become a state of the art standard for Large Screen Displays (LSD) in the Norwegian petroleum industry. Starting with process information, the concept has been further developed during the last years to also include safety information. The aim is to give the operators an overview of the safety state of the plant, and to provide the information needed when an emergency situation occurs. The information content of these safety displays has been specified in cooperation with operator crews through different projects for the Norwegian petroleum industry. The displays are developed using a rapid prototyping method.
This paper addresses, describes and discusses this new Information Rich safety display concept, using the dull color scheme. The motivation behind the information content of the displays is also explained. At the end of the paper some specific design examples and symbol explanations are provided.