I know of more than one example of an operator entering the wrong value into the DCS. As it turns out, the process industries are not unique in this regard. A recent study on medical devices (Wiseman, S., Cox, Anna, and Brumby, D. “Designing Devices with the Task in Mind: Which Numbers Are Really Used in Hospitals?” Human Factors , Vol 55, No 1, 2013 pp. 6174) was prompted by data entry error with fusion pumps. While the researchers developed criteria for medical data devices , one suggestion might have applicability for process control. This was the use of a scroll wheel (see picture) which limits errors due to failure to enter a value or have the value not take. Cases of failing to sufficiently depress a key, so that 500 becomes 50, or depressing a key too often, so that 50 becomes 500, would not happen with a scroll wheel.
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This year's Fall meeting for the Center for Operator Performance will be October 24-26 in Corpus Christi. For more information, please contact Lisa Via. Guests are always welcome!
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