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ABB is launching a new digital solution as part of its unified, cross-industry, digital offering, ABB Ability. It will provide operators with direct insights into their own environmental conditions giving them the possibility to adjust these according to their individual preferences. The result is a complete microenvironment that adapts to each individual’s needs and is achieved through the measurement and grading of factors such as air quality, temperature, lighting environment and humidity.

Operators also receive information on factors such as how long they have been standing or sitting, with recommendations for actions that will increase their well-being. This way they can reduce the risk of potential health problems such as heart disease, type II diabetes and obesity which not only benefits the operator but also helps to reduce the level of absence due to sickness within a business.

“At ABB we really understand the crucial role an optimised control room environment has for a business. The wrong environment can lead to human error that can cost a business dearly. In fact, 40 percent of all industrial downtime is due to operator errors caused by fatigue. By creating the right environment this new solution will go a long way to addressing the problem,” said Pierre Skönnegård, ABB’s Global Product Manager for Control Room Solutions.

A pilot project using the new application is already underway at ABB’s long-term partner, Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) and it will be rolled out globally in the first quarter of 2019.

“Operator well-being in the control room is a key element for consideration in project development,” said Larisa Rizvanovic, Senior Scientist at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden. “We will be exploring this new digital solution from ABB with our industrial partners, so that they too can maximise the benefits it brings for their operators”.

The solution offers the possibility to create a number of preferences and personal settings at any workstation making it the ideal solution for business working in shifts and for those running a 24/7 control room operation. Optimised light in the control room for example decreases the risk of workers developing eye health problems. The right balance between the monitors and the surrounding lights is crucial and can now easily be monitored and adjusted. The Cloud-based application works in synergy with many other ABB Ability solutions, and provides a platform for information, which can be shared between systems in the near-future.

The consolidation and analysis of the collected data stored in the cloud is presented on a well-being/safety dashboard. Data is ranked automatically according to the important standards, e.g. ISO 11064 Ergonomic Design of Control Centers. Specific business related KPIs can be determined in relation to human factors and ergonomics, meaning that continued learnings can take place taking the operator control room into the future.

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