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Designing visualization and interaction for industrial control rooms of the future
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Media and Information Technology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. ABB Corporate Research, Västerås.
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

During the last decades, the industry has been undergoing extensive digitization leading to complex ensembles of humans, machines, autonomous agents, and sensors. With this new setup comes the challenge of how to appropriately support work-practices of industrial operators who now need to monitor and control complex industrial processes through remote interfaces. Information overflow and restrictive interfaces are two significant problems that operators face in their daily routines. In this PhD, I explore approaches to visualization and interaction that would reduce industrial operators' information load and enable them to perform their duties in an efficient, reliable, and safe manner. Industrial users and industrial settings are the starting points of my research.

In this thesis, I describe multiple examples of custom-tailored data visualizations that reduce the operator's visual load by consolidating large amounts of data into compact overview displays with often nontrivial data presentation. With respect to interaction, I propose several tangible and tactile interfaces, as well as concepts for natural interaction, that let the user freely interact with the control station and the information it depicts. Finally, I propose several concepts of adaptive systems that adjust to the operator's context to ensure their high situational awareness and convenience of interaction.

Even though this thesis is primarily intended for the community of interaction designers, I expect it to be of interest to a broader audience due to its relation to the user experience field. To a certain extent, everyone can resonate with the user's problems because, in our everyday life, we all are users of some technology and services. Furthermore, for a lay reader, this work can be seen as a comprehensive introduction to how the industry works and what role the human plays there.

Abstract [sv]

Under de senaste årtiondena har industrin digitaliserats i stor utsträckning och består nu av komplexa strukturer där människor, maskiner, autonoma agenter och sensorer samspelar. Människor arbetar ofta som operatörer i industrin, med uppgift att övervaka och styra maskinella processer på distans från kontrollrum. Den omfattande digitaliseringen medför nya utmaningar för operatörerna i och med att mängden tillgänglig information växer samtidigt som kontrollrummens användargränssnitt är otillräckliga för de ändrade förutsättningarna. I den här avhandlingen utforskar jag nya former av visualisering och interaktion som skulle kunna hjälpa operatörerna hantera de växande informationsmängderna och sköta sitt arbete på ett effektivt, tillförlitligt och säkert sätt.

Jag presenterar flera exempel på skräddarsydda datavisualiseringar som minskar belastningen på operatörerna genom att kombinera stora mängder data i kompakta, icke-triviala presentationsformer. När det gäller interaktion föreslår jag flera fysiska och taktila interaktionsformer som kan göra operatörernas arbete mera fritt och självstyrt. Jag presenterar slutligen koncept för adaptiva system som anpassar sig till operatörernas arbetssituation för att skapa smidig interaktion och stödja hög situationsmedvetenhet.

Avhandlingen vänder sig i första hand till interaktionsdesignområdet, men jag räknar med att den kan vara av intresse för en bredare publik i och med att den behandlar användarupplevelse. Vi använder alla tekniska produkter och tjänster i någon utsträckning och bör därför kunna relatera till industrioperatörernas utmaningar. Mitt arbete ger också en inblick i hur människans arbetssituation ser ut i dagens industri.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2020. , p. 150
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 2077
Keywords [en]
Industrial control room, Industrial operator, Human-computer interaction
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-165625DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-165625ISBN: 9789179298357 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-165625DiVA, id: diva2:1429332
Public defence
2020-08-21, Online through Zoom (contact gun-britt.lofgren@liu.se) or K3, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Norrköping, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-05-15 Created: 2020-05-10 Last updated: 2020-05-25Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Visualization for Quality Healthcare: Patient Flow Exploration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Visualization for Quality Healthcare: Patient Flow Exploration
2019 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The health and medical institutes and hospitalsare facing several challenges in the short and long term, i.e.demographic changes, demands on improving quality, limitedresources and cost requirements. To cope with these challenges,the health care sector needs to become more efficient, whilemaintaining and improving the quality of care. Efficient andtransparent information flow across the whole system plays a keyrole even in this context. Being able to analyze the patient flowsas the first step will provide the possibility to more efficientlymanage medical resources and better serve incoming patients. Inthis work, we have developed a web-based portal for interactiveanalysis of patient flow data to assist hospital authorities toimprove and optimize the time and quality of the providedservices. The developed tool facilitates short and long termoptimization of resource allocation by analyzing the past, as wellas current, patient flows, identifying bottlenecks and exploringthe reasons for the occurred waiting times.

National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-165581 (URN)
Conference
IEEE Big Data
Available from: 2020-05-06 Created: 2020-05-06 Last updated: 2020-05-19
2. Feel the Water: Expressing Physicality of District Heating Processes in Functional Overview Displays
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Feel the Water: Expressing Physicality of District Heating Processes in Functional Overview Displays
2019 (English)In: PROCEEDINGS OF THE 2019 ACM INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INTERACTIVE SURFACES AND SPACES (ISS 19), ASSOC COMPUTING MACHINERY , 2019, p. 229-240Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper describes an explorative design study conducted in the scope of a collaborative research project in the district heating domain. In the scope of the project, we have arranged extensive field studies at two power plants to understand the workflows, problems, and needs of industrial operators. We relied on the gained knowledge to design and develop novel visual interfaces that would communicate the overall status of the district heating system at-a-glance. We aimed at exploring potential directions and alternatives beyond conventional industrial interfaces. One particular aspect of our research was related to how the physicality of the underlying industrial processes can be expressed by purely visual means. The paper introduces three high-fidelity prototypes demonstrating the novel visualizations developed. The paper explains the design choices made, namely the relation between the selected visual encodings to the requirements of the industrial operators tasks. Preliminary evaluation indicates industrial operators interest in the designed solutions. Future work will incorporate an extensive qualitative evaluation on site.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ASSOC COMPUTING MACHINERY, 2019
Keywords
Data visualization; Process control; District heating; Industrial operator; Industrial interface; User-centered design
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-165361 (URN)10.1145/3343055.3359708 (DOI)000523231300022 ()978-1-4503-6891-9 (ISBN)
Conference
14th ACM International Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces (ISS)
Note

Funding Agencies|strategic innovation program PIIA2; Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP)3 - Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation

Available from: 2020-04-27 Created: 2020-04-27 Last updated: 2020-05-10
3. Towards Effective Industrial Robot Fleet Visualization for Remote Service Applications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards Effective Industrial Robot Fleet Visualization for Remote Service Applications
2017 (English)In: 2017 IEEE 26th International Conference on Enabling Technologies: Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises (WETICE) / [ed] Sumitra M. Reddy, Wojciech Cellary, and Mariagrazia Fugini, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2017, p. 185-190Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In recent years, advances in sensors, Internet and communication technologies opened many promising opportunities for remote services of industrial robots. With remote service applications, potential problems in robot systems can be detected before they happen, and prevented pro-actively avoiding costly production shut-downs. However, to be able to effectively perform remote service operations, remote support engineers need to analyse vast amounts of information. For a remote support engineer to be able to manage such amount of data, effective data visualization is crucial. Based on field studies and collected needs of support engineers working with industrial robots, we have designed and developed a prototype, i.e. one possible solution of an effective industrial fleet visualization, applied on the overheated robots use case. The initial validation of the prototype showed the benefits of such visual data presentation, as well as future directions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2017
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-152708 (URN)10.1109/WETICE.2017.40 (DOI)9781538617595 (ISBN)9781538617601 (ISBN)
Conference
The 26th International Conference on Enabling Technologies: Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises (WETICE), 21-23 June 2017, Poznan, Poland
Available from: 2018-11-15 Created: 2018-11-15 Last updated: 2020-05-10Bibliographically approved
4. Re-Introducing Physical User Interfaces into Industrial Control Rooms
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Re-Introducing Physical User Interfaces into Industrial Control Rooms
Show others...
2017 (English)In: Proceedings of the European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics 2017, New York: ACM Digital Library, 2017, p. 162-168Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Within industrial control rooms the trend has been to move away from physical towards digital interfaces. However, operators working in these control rooms have expressed feeling a loss of connection to the production process and machinery they are controlling. As such we present two prototypes Haptic Mouse and Shift Report Tool which were used to explore the re-introduction of physical user interfaces into industrial control rooms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: ACM Digital Library, 2017
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-152709 (URN)10.1145/3121283.3121295 (DOI)9781450352567 (ISBN)
Conference
The European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics, ECCE 2017, Umeå, Sweden, September 19-22, 2017
Available from: 2018-11-15 Created: 2018-11-15 Last updated: 2020-05-10Bibliographically approved
5. Towards intelligent alarm management in the Age of IIoT
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards intelligent alarm management in the Age of IIoT
2017 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In recent years, IIoT continues to gain tractionintroducing promising opportunities to build powerful systemsand applications with new benefits to industry. However, as theindustrial systems become more complex, the number of alarmcalls in plants has exploded to a very large number. Having toomany alarms to handle hinders operators from taking the rightdecisions at the right time which potentially can lead to safety,reliability, privacy, and security issues. The work presentedin this paper is aimed at improving the safety of industrialoperations by better managing alarms and also increasing thereliability of the industrial operation by ensuring the processesare reliable. A main outcome of the project is a set of alarmdata mining algorithms and a high-fidelity prototype of a userinterface for reviewing and analyzing the mined alarm data.

National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-165578 (URN)
Conference
Global Internet of Things Summit
Available from: 2020-05-06 Created: 2020-05-06 Last updated: 2020-05-10
6. Supporting Maritime Remote Experts Working Over Distance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Supporting Maritime Remote Experts Working Over Distance
2016 (English)In: Supporting Maritime Remote Experts Working Over Distance, 2016Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Within the maritime domain there is a shift taking placetowards how troubleshooting (i.e. understanding andxing equipment issues) is being oered to maritimecustomers. Instead of travelling to ships around the world,service support engineers now remotely connect andaccess data from equipment sensors on-board. With thisgame-changing approach to xing equipment issues comesthe need to eectively support this change inwork-practice since engineers now need to solve complexproblems from an onshore location. Based on ndingsfrom eld studies, we present a prototype as a rst-steptowards addressing some of the key needs of theseengineers which include improving situation awareness forenhanced remote troubleshooting, integrating all relevantinformation for easier searching, and faster access torelevant personnel for help. The prototype was validatedwith domain specialists, and based on the ndings a set ofdesign recommendations is also presented.

National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-165577 (URN)
Conference
NordiCHI
Available from: 2020-05-06 Created: 2020-05-06 Last updated: 2020-05-15
7. Untethered Workspaces: A Zones Concept Towards Supporting Operator Movements In Control Rooms
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Untethered Workspaces: A Zones Concept Towards Supporting Operator Movements In Control Rooms
2016 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Within industrial domains there is a need for control room operators to be in constant contact with the different processes they are responsible for controlling. With this responsibility comes the need to constantly be near their workstations in order to monitor, diagnose and quickly troubleshoot issues presented. These workstations, however, restrict operators in control rooms from moving freely within the control room itself, such as between their own and their colleague’s workstations since they cannot interact with the system from a distance. These systems also restrict those operators who need to continuously enter the control room from the plant/factory floor since interacting with process graphics requires them to remove all of their specialized equipment every time (e.g. large bulky safety gloves). We therefore present a concept for control room operators that supports their untethering from dedicated workstations, providing them with the ability to interact in a more flexible way.

National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-165562 (URN)
Conference
CHI
Available from: 2020-05-06 Created: 2020-05-06 Last updated: 2020-05-10

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