Research Details Real-World Experiences for Improving Plant Operations


Mar 19, 2009

The Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Consortium recently announced it will make select research available for purchase.  Previously, this research was available only to members of the ASM Consortium, a group of 13 leading companies and universities that jointly research the root causes of abnormal situations and their effects on plant safety. The group examines a wide array of subjects, everything from the effects of organizational structures on plant operations to the maintenance of hardware and software platforms that support process control.

The first in a series of planned ASM Consortium publications, “Effective Operator Display Design” provides guidelines for improving plant operator displays. Written by and for the chemical and refining industries, the book is a compilation of real-world experiences from consortium members who have implemented human-machine interface (HMI) design best practices in their own plants.  This knowledge has been organized as a set of structured best practices to guide design and deployment of operator interfaces that enable effective operator behaviors. 

“Plant incidents are estimated to cost the chemical and refining industries anywhere between 3%-8% of revenue, and poor or ineffective operator displays can play a major role in those incidents,” said Peggy Hewitt, ASM Consortium director. “Research shows that improving HMI displays using ASM guidelines improves the operator’s ability to prevent, respond to and mitigate potentially hazardous incidents. ‘Effective Operator Display Design’ shares those insights to help keep plants running safely and efficiently.”

For more information about purchasing this and future ASM Consortium research publications and for general information about the ASM Consortium, please visit