DCS graphics standard

Hi board,
I'm wondering if anybody has ever seen a draft/standard for DCS
... line weight, colours, etc...
Due to ergonomic standards, we're more and more fighting with colour
of keyboards, monitors, etc.. and of course the graphics themselves.
Reply to
Serge Simon
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Some of the larger companies (the Shells, BPs, Exxons, Billitons and James Hardies of this world) have their own "in-house" standards, largely developed by their long-gone engineering staff from many years ago, but I must admit that I've never seen anything official from the ISO or anyone else.
Maybe someone should suggest it to the ISA, but, hey, people can't even agree whether red is "off" or "on", so a standard for line weights?? I doubt it..!! ;-)
Reply to
Cameron Dorrough
There are some studies that have been done for GUI's in general and were some articles back in late 90's in the EE engineering mags, EE Design for one maybe. I remember reading and was very good.
Google search for "GUI color standards" has some good results and there does seem to be some ISO or other standards.
GUI or Graphical User Interface is what you want to search and applies to DCS, SCADA and much more.
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Reply to
I was a member of the ISA SP5.5 committee in the early 80's that developed a standard for graphic symbols (pumps, heat exchangers, etc.) used on operator displays. That standard covered symbols only. The standard was used by the major DCS vendors to develop the prebuilt symbols for their graphics package.
Since that time there has been occassional discussion about needs for additional standards. However, as far as I know no committee has been formed.
I do not know that there is a need for national or international standards in this area. There is a need for internal plant standards; they can be written by individual companies. There is also a need for education, written material (books, articles, etc.) making recommendations and providing guidlines. (I wrote a few articles in the 80's on the subject)
John Shaw Process Control Solutions
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Reply to
John Shaw
It's just as well there are no significant standards yet., We are STILL in the learning curve. What looked cool ten years ago is now recognized as gaudy and distracting. Black backgrounds were terrible for reflecting light. Old standards for line weights are totally irrelevant in an age of fully scalable Windows.
The Honeywell ASM group has material on good graphics design principles but to be a member is expensive. They have no directly applicable standards. We are developing our own.
Reply to
Walter Driedger
As I think and from my work experience in DCS projects, the HIM is a customer specification and each project has its own pallet (as we call it with Foxboro IA). Unfortunately, there are no common standard for the DCS HMI even for the symbols, there are still some differences alive within the same symbol used in different projects. As I think, the lack of standardization is due to the lack of the DCS standardization as a communication and control system. The DCS still considered as a vendor dependent technology. There is no a common standard collect the design and the features of the DCS, although each system includes a lot of standardized technologies in its core design.
For these reason, the best is to set with the customer and get what they want exactly and save it as a design kit for that customer for any further work.
Hesham Elhadad Application Engineer
Reply to
Hesham Elhadad
Taking a step back for a sec, it's amazing what can be done using a "text only" style display (ie. no graphics at all!) ..and the bigger the text, the better!
I know several materials-handling process industries (like steel mills and plating shops), where pages of text showing the status of each plant item are more useful to the operator than any flashy graphics. Two reasons come to mind:
1. It is far easier to read percentages (as a number, not from a slider) and status ("off" is longer than "on") as text rather than colour. 2. If the operator is colour-impaired and either doesn't know himself or is too proud to tell anyone, you'll get an incident before you find out..
Reply to
Cameron Dorrough
Have to agree with all of you... We also have our own standard, but this one was established in the 80's for a Beckmann RMV9000 and never updated since :-)) Text-only (groups) is what the operators use a lot. Also the cool ten years old graphics is what we "copied" when we migrated to a new win-based system.. :-) Simply because operators were used to those and they didn't want to have them changed!
What I want to point out (and this is why I asked for a standard) is that there are more and more ergonomic standards popping up, dealing with e-workplaces. And this is what DCS systems are nowadays! These standards force us to change the graphics via ergonomic reasons.
Examples: One ergonomic standards forces us to have a min distance of 90cm for the CRTs/TFTs ...this again forces us to create graphics with larger symbols/text... ...next step is to split up graphics into several as the original won't fit anymore...
Another standard calls for the ability to let the operator chose between positive and negative display (Background black or white/grey) ...how does one handle this...?
I could go on now. Standardizing graphic symbols was already one step, but there should be more, at least recommendations, describing things like: -colors for materials -alarm managment -bad quality color etc...
Greets: -Serge-
Reply to
Serge Simon
With *text* displays - two identical pages with different background templates.
You will find (after a few minutes of research) that the only way to comply with the ergonomic standards you mention is to use text-only (no graphics at all) - although don't bother explaining that to your average HMI saleman! ;-)
Blame the millions of secretaries, store checkout people, telemarketers and travel agents around the world - you will never see any of *them* using graphical displays.
Yes, well.... We configure graphic displays all the time, but everyone (especially plant operators) has their own opinion as to what they want to see.
Good luck!
Reply to
Cameron Dorrough

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