ADMA-OPCO have maintained a consistent Operator Interface System (OIS) in the control rooms over recent decades. The need to move to a modern interface compliant with current industry best practice for three major new field projects was recognized in 2009 in the new projects specifications. This addresses both safety and efficiency while recognizing the increased level of instrumentation on the newer facilities and the expected diversity in our future workforce.
Developing a new OIS approach required working with vendors to ensure the ability to technically deliver the new design regardless of vendor. There was also a review of current practices by other international operators. The new design addresses past OIS deficiencies in the graphics imposed by limitations of older systems used to monitor, control, and respond to events in the process. Those deficiencies were in colour, content, layout, and difficulty in the maintenance of operational settings. Much time was spent in control rooms eliciting input from current operators, both experienced as well as recent hires.
The new specification utilizes pattern recognition techniques to easily verify a stable process state from massive amounts of data and addresses the appropriate use of colour and patterns to quickly direct attention to areas of concern. This OIS emphasizes a logical and consistent schematic layout based on process and operational divisions. The operator adjusts target values and alert limits allowing monitoring and maintaining the process in an optimal state before supervisory set alarm limits are reached.
Prior to implementation in the new fields, the OIS was implemented as a pilot in parallel with the existing system on a portion of the Das Island processing facility. This was to capture lessons and input from operators using the new system before finalising the new fields design with an alternate vendor. In parallel, a campaign was undertaken to eliminate nuisance alarms and to adjust instrument ranges and supervisory alarm limits to more appropriate levels.
The evolution of the operating design philosophy and the process for design, engagement, and implementation from those activities through the initial pilot system start up are discussed. The system described below is now formalized as an ADMA standard procedure, and will be implemented by the Main Automation Contractor on ADMA New Fields.