What is a control room

To put it in simple terms:

A control room is the room/a workplace where the controls to a certain business unit is located, from here it is monitored and controlled by the human control room operators. Many kinds of businesses use and have control rooms and come in many variations.

A control room is dedicated to employees that have special training and educations in crisis management and engineering. These people are called control room operators, and make sure everything is running as it should be.

A list of the different businesses that have a control room

  • Police force
  • Fire department
  • Alarm center (112 or 911) and emergency dispatch
  • Airports and flight control
  • Energy (power, solar, wind, nuclear, oil and gas) refineries
  • Production plants and manufacturing sites
  • National and international infrastructure like trains and busses
  • Traffic management
  • National defense
  • Security
  • Transportation
  • Weather and natural disaster monitoring

Many businesses need the perfect control room, suited and customized to their needs, environments, goals and demands. No control rooms are alike – they might be similar – and no operator, business or industry are alike. All need to be factored in when setting up a control room. Each case should therefore be treated as an individual stand-alone control room, not allowing any copy/pasting.

What is in a control room?

A control room consists of a vast number of components, each of them vital for the operation – some more than other. It is also important to understand, that all control rooms don’t have the same equipment - one-to-one. But one thing is common in all today’s control rooms; A great focus is in ergonomics and a high-performing and customized work environment.

The staff

In a control room you have different functionalities “on the floor”. You have junior and senior operators, technicians, trainees, supervisors, etc. And then also a deployment crew/field operators, ready to handle any crisis on-prem of the issue itself.

Each of them has different requirement for hardware and software in order to do their job optimally.

Hardware

The right hardware is important for any control room. If the hardware isn’t the best for your control room and your staff, you might end up with a lot of negative results. You should for example go for cordless phones and headsets.

Software

The software needed to control whatever needs controlling is crucial for any control room’s success. Find the right software that suits your needs, and don’t compromise on its quality. With the increasing level of automation being implemented into the contact center, the operators have time to evolve their responsibilities and handle the more intense activities.

Desks

To find the right desk for your control room can be difficult, but doesn’t have to be. There is a lot of things to consider, when deciding for which desk each employee should have. Because the same desk might not suit all employees. Our business partner on desks is Erich Keller. Erich Keller is a Swizz manufacturer of desks specially designed for control room.

Monitors

A monitor is no joke. As a control room operator, you are looking at monitors though the entire shift. Investing in the right monitor from the beginning, will bring down the risk of headaches, eye damages, neck pains etc. for the operators plus it will enhance the overall performance.

We partner with Eizo, who manufactures state of the art monitors for all specialized industries such as hospitals, operation room, control room, trading floors etc.

Video wall

The big video wall in a control room is almost in inevitable. It is used for the big projects, sharing views, and the 24/7 surveillance in your community. The pixels in a video wall must be perfect to match the very high demands in control rooms and need to be accessible to all operators and from any source.

The TM Group business partner for video walls are call Leyard Planar and is the best in the game. Their video walls suit every type of control room and can meet any requirement.

Chairs

The number hours you spend in an office chair can be a killer if you don’t have the right chair. To be working in a control room requires that you spend vast amount of time in your chair, in front of your monitors and desks. Everything need to be in sync and be supporting your control room and its operators to perform their best.

Our business partner, StolComfort, has the best chairs for long-time sitting and twisting and turning to see all the screens at your disposal.

IP- distribution KVM platform controlled via a Multifunction keyboard

Not having a mouse and a keyboard, to every monitor a control room employee has, is a must. Using the KVM solutions, you only have one specialized and personalized keyboard to use. These keyboards control the PCs which you have stored in a centralized, secure and cooled server room/data center.

Other components in a complex control room

  • Big screen for supervision/overview
  • Camera surveillance
  • Scada applications to run customized operations
  • Different communications, telephone, radio, emergency radio, Rakel/Tetra, Intercom …
  • Map system
  • Fire alarm systems
  • Customized controlling features: like gate, pump, lights
  • Different kind of alarm system

What is a control room operator?

To be a control room operator is a demanding and yet exciting job. They work in companies in the sectors stated earlier in this article.

They sit/stand at their desk all shift long and monitor that everything is running smoothly and as it should be. If anything is wrong, they have strict protocols to follow to ensure that the error/breach is attended to as quickly and safely as possible.

Being a control room operator is a job that requires you to be ready to adapt and act fast. The areas that are controlled and overseen by control rooms and its operators are shifting, and so are the functions.

As a control room operator, you must be good at working under pressure, and making the right decisions. You need to be able to analyze the situation in a split second in terms of risk, consequences, rewards etc. It requires a great deal of managerial skills of the managers of the control room in order to keeping the business running and keeping the staff happy as professionals and people with feelings.

 

Conclusion

The functionality of the control room is only as good as its operators, and the operator’s performance rely on the state of the control room to a certain degree. Therefore, it is vital to have the users of the control room, the operators, as a central part of the planning and designing of the control room.

How to get your next customized control room

A control room is an exciting place to be, and it is one of the things we love to work with. Our control room expert, Mikael Bergqvist has a vast experience in all kinds of control rooms. Mikael can help any company striving to having the perfect control room at their disposal.

Reach out to Mikael by filling out the form below or click here to read more about our control room solutions.

 

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