From its start, the NSLS-II controls system was designed in stages; Engineering controls, followed by Physics applications and pages, and finally an Operations layer for the control-room. Of the three layers, the Engineering pages have remained predominantly static, from the mindset of machine controls being “complete” and not modifying a system that is in-use. Operations pages and tools, conversely, have continuously evolved to suit a growing list of needs as new hardware comes online. This comes from active participation in development by operators, a dedicated ops-developer, and constant feedback from the operators who use the tools.
This year, several engineering issues have forced groups to double their efforts monitoring data and identifying conditions before they become problems. With legacy Engineer controls, this process was tedious, time-consuming, and some trends were easily missed. By breaking the divide between controls ‘layers’ and making Operations-styled tools for Engineers, we have streamlined that monitoring process, saving system engineers time and increasing the effectiveness of our responses to prevent those recurring issues. This talk presents the motivations, techniques, and quantified-results of using Operations-developed, user-friendly UI to meet technical Engineering-level challenges.