Many years ago, when plants were operated by switches and hydraulics, the Control Room was a very low tech environment.
Once the equipment became more hi-tech (processor-driven), the control room environment drastically changed. Out went the valves, gauges, and levers and in came the monitors, keyboards and processors. With this new technology came the need to keep the environment cleaner and more stable.
Access floors have become an industry standard in applications for control room environments where the need to manage wiring and static is critical. Raised floors offer the flexibility in this environment to create the most efficient control rooms to manage process control operations.
Here are several reasons to choose a raised floor in a Control Room:
- access floors distribute heavy weights of equipment equally
- access floors manage the spaghetti of wires around control equipment and offer a safe environment for personnel (no tripping)
- access floors manage airflow to sensitive equipment
- access floors provide grounding
- access floors provide the needed flexibility for ever changing control rooms processing equipment
- access floors can be rotated, maximizing surface wear in heavy caster wear areas, extending the life of the floor
- service outlets cut-in easy
Most control rooms have a surface covering known as High Pressure Laminate (HPL). HPL has become the standard in control room design because of its ease of maintenance and its unique ability to dissipate static electricity. HPL is available is two different thicknesses: 1/16" and 1/8". One good factor about HPL is that it is resistant to many chemicals that are found in industrial environments. Carpet in working chemical plants is not recommended.
If this floor is located inside of a working plant, you will want to definitely consider using a rigid grid bolted stringer (cross-pieces) understructure system. Workers accessing under the floor never seem to put the floor components back in properly if the grid snaps (snap on stringers) in place. That is why it is highly recommended to bolt the grid, to discourage workers from disassembling the floor system.