Aesthetics and ergonomics combined seamlessly in the design of the new control rooms for a major financial services provider (FSP). Well known for its exhibition stand and security control room designs and manufacturing, Progroup recently won an award to replace nine of the client’s control rooms with state-of-the-art video walls and consoles.
Penny Bond, founder of the company, explains that the existing control rooms were cramped, inadequate for their purpose and contained predominantly obsolete equipment.
Progroup’s Joanna Bowes, says that the contract was initially awarded in November 2015 and Progroup produced a preliminary design, followed by a final design in January 2016. The company is currently in the throes of manufacturing the consoles for this extremely fast track project, which is deadlining in late March.
Due to the stringent deadlines, planning is of critical importance and the entire team has pooled its resources and knowledge to ensure the control rooms are handed over to the client timeously and to specification.
The existing control rooms comprised video walls built directly onto non-ergonomic desks. The whole design and setup of the control rooms was, in fact, not conducive to a productive working environment and certainly did not encourage concentration levels. In one instance, a control room is being made substantially larger to accommodate the number of operators required.
The nine control rooms are located throughout the country in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Bloemfontein. There will be two to three operators located in each control room. The head office will house four to six operators in the control room.
Bowes points out that the consoles have been designed in such a way that they are modular and easy to transport and assemble. In addition, the wall units will be pre-assembled, transported to site then bolted into place. This significantly reduces the time required for assembly on site, providing the client with a faster turnaround time.
Once again Vushubheki Management Services is working hand-in-glove with Progroup in handling all the technical aspects of the project. It will initially remove all old cables in the control rooms and place operators in a temporary control room during the refurbishment process. Thereafter, Progroup will dismantle and remove the old consoles.
Recabling of the control rooms and installation of the video walls and consoles will proceed in the final stages. There will be two 42-inch modules per operator in each control room, with 5-8 screens per console. The company is currently considering six different console designs but is aiming to standardise on a final design for all control rooms.
Each console will measure 1,8 x 3 metres, with customised grey powder-coated steel legs. The specially designed and manufactured grey powder-coated steel cable trays are a point of pride for the company and together with the steel legs, Folkstone Grey counter-tops and high impact edges on the counter-tops, Progroup is hoping to offer the units as a standard item for similar installations in the future.
The entire project has comprised a subtle compromise between cost and finish to ensure that both budgetary constraints and the requested superior finishes were accommodated.
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