Calgary Transit Control Room

Control rooms have evolved drastically over the past decade. The amount of data available has grown exponentially, forcing operators to keep an eye on a lot more sources. A control room operator must therefore be able to work well under pressure and adjust quickly to fluid situations. Depending on where the operator is deployed, this can be highly stressful. In general, he or she must read and analyse data and images in real-time and identify if action needs to be taken. The intensity of the job should not be underestimated as the operator needs to be continuously alert for many hours, monitoring several areas. Apart from physical health, mental health is for the job. Having a proper working space will go a long way in ensuring the well-being of the operator.

In general, a control room operator’s workspace will have a couple of display monitors connected to individual keyboards and mouse for each monitor. The CPUs are placed in a remote server room to free up space. The operator controls what he wants to see in each monitor using the individual keyboards and mouse. However, having more than one keyboard and mouse on the table clutters up the table, which may hinder productivity.

Now it is possible to have a clutter-free operator’s workspace with Barco’s OpSpace, which helps improve the operator’s productivity. With OpSpace, all relevant information can be consulted and manipulated within a single pixel space, with just one mouse and keyboard. OpSpace reduces the clutter and brings simplicity back to the workflow, both on-screen and on the desk. With just one click, operators can call any application into view – reducing navigation time and significantly improving the overview of any situation.

In this feature, we look at three organisations that have implemented OpSpace and how it has helped them create a more productive workspace.

Toray Advanced Materials, Inc.
Toray Advanced Materials Korea Inc. supplies essential materials to various industries ranging from fibre, film and basic materials in IT to high-value-added special materials. The company is part of Toray Group, a world-class Japanese advanced materials company with a history that spans more than 90 years.

Toray Advanced Materials Korea Inc. decided to introduce a high-tech network monitoring system to optimise plant operations for increased productivity, efficiency and product quality at one of their plants. Various Barco solutions such as the Barco UniSee LCDs, TransForm N media management platform with CMS software and OpSpace were implemented at the plant, to provide a seamless and effective monitoring system.

The plant monitoring and process control system is critical in ensuring that high standards of the produced materials are maintained. The operator needs to view all aspects of the plant and quickly respond to potential issues to minimise any damage or loss. To provide the operator with all the necessary tools to do an effective job, real-time monitoring of system data is critical. This was made possible with OpSpace. The operator can easily view all the data and images from multiple sources such as CCTVs and PCs on the Barco UniSee displays through the OpSpace solution. The operator can manipulate the images quickly and maximise or minimise relevant data and images effortlessly with just one keyboard and mouse.

OpSpace enables the operator to have instant access to many different systems from a single integrated workspace. It also offers better latency performance and security. Furthermore, the plant can add any future source inputs easily.

Ji Sung Ryu, Sales Manager, ENP & Service Manager, Barco Korea highlights that at the beginning it was difficult to convince Toray due to the lack of their understanding of the OpSpace solution. “That was however easily solved when we demonstrated the OpSpace solution,” said Ji Sung.

Ji Sung adds that the Barco team met with the Toray team to understand the pain points faced using their existing KVM solution. “They had issues of seamless connectivity between legacy sources and new sources as there were various types of inputs. They also needed a real time monitoring system that did not have latency issue and a system that enabled operators to respond quickly efficiently should issues crop up.”

“OpSpace was able to mitigate all their pain points,” said Ji Sung. “We proposed a customized solution to reflect customer feedback and find a perfect solution to help their operators be more productive.”

“Our solution delivered better latency performance and provided a single workspace for multiple displays on the operator’s desk for viewing, monitoring and interacting with multiple clients residing on multiple networks. In this way, the operator is at the center of the information and has all data within easy reach. OpSpace also provides secure access to hosts across multiple security domains, especially for standard TCP/IP networks,” added a pleased Ji Sung.

Toray Advanced Materials Korea Inc. was happy with the result achieved – more effective workspace for the operator, the use of TCP/IP Standard network base with security, and the low latency for time-critical operations were all major advantages for monitoring the plant.

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New Municipal Hospital in Taipei
A new Municipal hospital was opened in July 2020 in Taipei, Taiwan, equipped with 1058 beds. Other than providing patient care, the hospital also has laboratories, which requires monitoring of the laboratory equipment. It is critical to ensure that the equipment is working efficiently across the different labs.

Roche Taiwan that helped set up the laboratories at the hospital, recommended Barco OpSpace to monitor multiple pieces of equipment in the laboratory simultaneously. Roche Taiwan is part of the Swiss-based Roche organisation. Roche creates innovative medicines and diagnostic tests that help millions of patients globally. The OpSpace solution was certified by Roche HQ for use before Roche Taiwan could implement it.

Roche Taiwan was frustrated with the traditional KVM solution that was used for monitoring the laboratory equipment. Cabling complexity and unstable image quality caused many issues with staff needing to troubleshoot the system regularly. OpSpace, on the other hand, offered low latency and good quality of image with a user-friendly interface. The hospital is very pleased with the outcome of using OpSpace. The operators only needed a few minutes to understand how the system worked.

Calgary Transit Operations
An efficient network of buses and light rail, Calgary Transit (located at Calgary in Alberta, Canada) transports more than 105M passengers each year, helping its residents, visitors and the community achieve their health, mobility and lifestyle goals. As part of their 30-year plan for route expansion, Calgary Transit needed a larger, more robust Operation Control Centre (OCC), to accommodate the anticipated growth, alleviate space constraints and realize the long-term expansion plan with a new mission-critical, highly resilient, and state-of-the-art OCC facility. Barco’s RGB laser-lit rear-projection cubes, LCD panels and TransForm N media management platform with CMS software as well as OpSpace play a prominent role in the new OCC.

Barco’s OpSpace solution, implemented to manage all legacy desktop sources, allows the 20 operator positions in the OCC full control of the 85 video monitors and access to more than 200 subsystem applications on the network, with just one keyboard and mouse per console. Along with Barco’s workflow software – CMS, facilitating layout changes and visual collaboration – OpSpace allows for an ergonomic, attractive and efficient operator station, with all bulky workstations and PCs remotely located in the server room.

The new system enabled Calgary Transit to reduce workstation clutter, add uniformity and visual quality, provide flexibility at workstations and simplify future expansion plans with the help of a control room that could scale as needs evolve. Barco solutions enabled them to realize this goal and operate at full potential.

The Barco Advantage in Control Rooms

“With continued investments in innovation, a revised Services portfolio, a strong partner network, and an additional focus on new emerging verticals, we want to strengthen our position and further grow as a global control rooms technology provider. Our strongholds remain professional-quality products and services, extreme durability, fit-for-purpose reliability, and a very strong brand that keeps its commitments towards its partners and end-users.” said Olivier Croly, Senior Vice President, Barco APAC.

“Over 100 companies from various industries across the world rely on Barco OpSpace to enable more efficient workflow, better identify anomalies and respond faster to any emergencies. OpSpace offers so many advantages. Other than providing a clutter-free operator’s workspace, it enables operators to be more efficient and productive. Operators can easily toggle between different inputs, manipulate the images and data easily and make decisions more effectively. OpSpace helps organisations merge seamlessly legacy input sources and new sources. OpSpace offers flexibility for now and in the future as it is agnostic to source and network types. It also provides secure access to hosts across multiple security domains. As can be seen by the case studies, OpSpace offers unmatched unique advantages,” concluded Olivier.

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This Article is Sponsored by Barco.