I have talked about the drive by many companies to reduce “Operational Variation” across plants, teams, and industries. This is core to the journey to "operation excellence" gaining consistency, awareness and early detection of situations. When you look at the table below on the levels of human operational automation, the drive of the integrated operational experience is trying to reach level 5 "Worker management by exception", a big part of this is awareness of current operational process status relative to optimum.
There are many ways that operational control will be implemented, as pointed out it could be through actions and processes becoming embedded and certainly this will be the big driver in the road to “Operational Innovation”.
But another way is through displaying key operational indicators to a knowledge worker, where these indicators are mapped within boundary conditions. These boundaries are set up based on the time and relevance to the role and activity/ task the knowledge worker is performing. This sort of “operating Window” enables the knowledge worker the context, and recommendations, knowledge to enable operational decisions in a timely and ever consistent way. This same operational window can be used over multiple sites/ and teams for that role and activity providing consistency control.
The figure below is an example of an operational window.
Where on the left you can see the operational running trend, but you can see the changing boundary conditions of operation based upon product etc., The green shows the area where optimum control, safety, and production performance is. The right hand side you have reasons, and number instances of deviations for periods out of operational control.
Placing this sort of operational window where the operational boundaries come from the business strategy but in context of the role and activity no matter where in the plant operational team, but the feedback and running side is real-time from the plant. This window is place adjacent to current control/ HMI screens the operator is using, or the maintenance or process screens the users are working, and you start the transformation to a knowledge worker.