Mission-critical. Time sensitive. High pressure.
Control room operators typically make hundreds of decisions daily, and these decisions could be downright nerve-wracking.
Often, life and death decisions are being made by such operators. Thus, their focus and attention cannot be disrupted.
As such, productivity, quality and safety are no longer just options. It’s a necessity.
Generally, a control room console is one of the most essential elements in a mission-critical work environment. It functions as an essential support system for controlling and monitoring various critical operations within a defined environment.
Hence, when it comes to deciding between consoles and office furniture, are there really any differences between the two?
The answer is… Yes, there are many significant differences between the two.
Let us share with you the top 5 key differences which will help you discover why your investment in mission-critical environment furniture is vital.
Consoles are uniquely designed specifically for 24/7 mission-critical environments.
They are constructed in such a way where they can withstand your day-to-day operations that include various shift changes, managing upset scenarios and complying with various technological requirements.
The shape and size of the console is usually driven by a number of factors, such as the sit/stand requirement, layout and size of the room, sightline requirement, number of operators and monitors, type of equipment, technology and so on.
The console substructure should also be able to house different types of equipment and provide good cable management with easy access for maintenance.
On the other hand, office furniture is built without taking these considerations and requirements in mind. This is because they are usually mass produced which makes them harder to fit into your control room and technology requirements.
A typical example is that office furniture does not have any mounting equipment for monitor screens, and are unable to accommodate several CPUs under the table.
The increasing emergence of new technologies and ergonomic standards has increased the public awareness of workplace health issues.
By providing a sit/stand office desk, a comfortable chair and an articulating keyboard does not completely solve the ergonomic office issues. This is because a control room environment is very much different from a standard office workspace.
As control room operators typically work round the clock, the consoles are also required to withstand and adapt to such critical working environments.
Thus, consoles can be defined as technical furniture that are designed and manufactured in strict compliance with human factors and ergonomics consideration.
Besides, operators usually have a primary, secondary and even a tertiary screen for visibility requirement. Thus, required sightlines and distance between them and a common video wall are also important ergonomic factors to be considered while designing the console.
Not only that, other ergonomic factors such as proper lighting, seating arrangement, flooring, heating or cooling system, acoustic and audiovisual are essential elements for console and control room design.
Mission-critical monitoring environment demands 24/7 products with long lifespan since control room operators are generally rough with the furniture that they use.
As a result, consoles are required to withstand the test of time in its environment, and they should be replaced once every few decades.
There are also some durability features in a console which regular office furniture does not take into consideration, such as thicker work surfaces, using metal of high strength aluminum in the console substructures, configuration of slatwall or slatrail structures to mount large number of monitors and equipment, PVC edging of the work surfaces, and so on.
Another important factor in console design is the equipment required to be housed, including multiple screens and CPUs, hard panel push buttons, turrets, and more.
Due to the large amount of technology and equipment in and on the console, there is a great need to accommodate the cables for this equipment.
Moreover, the method to accommodate these cables from a variety of locations, e.g. ceiling, wall, raised floor is also important as these consoles need to adapt to any environment.
However, a regular office furniture is mainly constructed to be a ‘one size fits all’. It is usually built to accommodate a single CPU without any front or rear access for maintenance works.
As control room operators are working in a mission-critical environment, equipment and cables need to be properly housed as it could cause accidental shutdown or interferences during operations.
A modular constructed console enables high customization and expandability, covering practically any requirement.
Unlike office furniture, consoles are built with the capability to adapt to any mission-critical environment. Hence, their modular substructures allow the structures to be added or removed easily.
The modular console design also provides the flexibility of creating single or full-scale, multi-bay operations centre. By installing a slatwall or slatrail, it would create less hassle if there’s a need to change the monitors due to the changes in business requirements.
It is also vital that the console provides optimal comfort and efficiency to keep operators alert and productive throughout their shift.
Therefore, with the ever-changing technology in control rooms, consoles are uniquely designed to adapt to any technological requirement without having to replace the entire module.
Although it is quite impossible to predict the future needs, but we can always choose a product that allows us to be as flexible as possible, while achieving cost-effectiveness in a long run and meeting the required ergonomics standard.
Please feel free to check out our RE.DE.CON console series here.
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For over two decades, Datumstruct has earned its reputation as a trusted critical facilities provider for REDECON Ergonomic Console Desking, Control Centre Design & Build (CCDB), and Control Centre Technology Integration (CCTI).
The passion to pursue a holistic control room approach has always been the hallmark of Datumstruct since its establishment in 1999. Our end-to-end service puts you in touch with support specialist to ensure that your mission-critical environment is up and running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Headquartered in Singapore, Datumstruct is an ISO:9001 certified company with its presence in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, China, Hong Kong and Myanmar to support its extensive regional growth.
Now you can enhance your monitoring capabilities and achieve competitive advantage with our first-class, industry-leading solutions.