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Over 300 EIZO Monitors Installed at EUROCONTROL's New Network Manager Operations Centre

EUROCONTROL’s new Network Manager Operations Centre (NMOC) is live! Operators are actively managing the 11 million expected flights for this year smoothly across Europe. This is happening at 121 ergonomic desks, behind hundreds of screens, equipped with touch panels and state-of-the-art software.


Key Features
・ Extensive and complex, but user-friendly solutions placing the end user at the center
・ Advanced flexibility, ready for the future
・ Focus on ergonomics in a 24/7 environment, including familiarization training for the staff
・ The highest standards for security in both software systems and construction and layout

“The implementation of the equipment in the new building went very smoothly, thanks to the great coordination between all actors involved, including the EUROCONTROL team, building constructors, Whitemilk, and technology suppliers. We are quite satisfied,” says Matthis Birenheide, the Head of Operations Support at EUROCONTROL who received this project on his desk in December 2020.

NMOC, Front-End Support, Training Room, Offices
Ultimately, alongside the NMOC (Network Manager Operations Centre), the IT front-end support, the IT service supporting the operations headquarters, also moved. A training room with twelve workstations and a teacher’s desk was added, identically equipped as the main room. There are several offices for executives and directors on the first floor. And for the tech enthusiasts: the racks and cables in the basement are quite impressive. “The pitch in March 2022 marked the beginning of a project in which EUROCONTROL placed full trust in us,” says Jan De Keyser, Managing Director at Whitemilk.

Meanwhile, the biggest challenge for Matthis Birenheide was figuring out how to support the current operations while also preparing for the future. “Especially for the front-end support, the change was massive. But the beauty was that they were very open to it from the beginning. Our research indicated that we needed to go for a single console concept, so we wanted to know how many screens they needed. At that time: a lot! They were used to working with two rows of about thirty screens. That's how it had evolved over the years. But in the new concept, that wasn't an option. The team never made an issue of it and was immediately ready to rethink their way of working.” For the displays on the desks EUROCONTROL relied on EIZO again, which was already the standard monitor in their offices for years.



Maximum Flexibility
The state-of-the-art building would house a state-of-the-art control center. Featuring 121 ergonomic desks, over 300 screens, 6 large LED walls, a UniSee Wall, OpSpace, TransForm N, touch panels, and more. In this critical European infrastructure, key considerations included redundancy for high availability, the highest-level security (from windows to strict access control and resource availability for different departments), and maximum flexibility. Flexibility in every conceivable way, from the sources displayed on the video walls to the operator workstations. Or flexibility in terms of scalability: as the number of flights continues to rise (with up to 16 million yearly flights by 2050), and data exchange becomes even more extensive, EUROCONTROL aims to be well-prepared.

One of the challenges EIZO solved with their monitors was to have access to all applications on every desk and to switch easily. “In the past, each desk had dedicated computers specifically equipped for certain functions linked to our data center. Now, we wanted a clean Ops Room, without large computers and with all the flexibility,” explains Matthis Birenheide. “In essence, you can perform any task from any console. This led us to the single console concept: all workstations are the same, with exactly the same number of screens.” Front-end operators in a control room are typically bombarded by a vast amount of information. “With our systems, they choose the form and size in which information is displayed. Using the same mouse, they can manipulate and interact with different sources or drag something from the large screen to a small display,” explains Jonas Standaert the OpSpace solution. Matthis Birenheide adds, “For front-end support, it combines a large TFT wall with two 42” displays per console for interactive work. NMOC operators have three 31.5” monitors on their consoles. This entire new solution propels us into the 21st century for front-end support."


It was clear: in the previous Ops Centre, the setup was no longer ideal. Over the course of 25 years, new equipment was added without sufficient consideration for ergonomics. “Ergonomics is often underestimated in a 24/7 environment. People work in a stressful environment, but with a varying workload. At one moment, they need to work attentively and intensively, while at other times, it's much calmer and relaxed. You have to consider all these facets if you want to maintain correct sight lines, provide the right passages, and ensure that people can sit comfortably behind a desk. Unfortunately, back, shoulder, and neck issues are very common in these types of environments,” notes Steve Beeckmans. It became a search for the best possible compromise between functional and ergonomic needs. Perfectly adapted to 24/7 environments EIZO monitors offer long-term usage and the technology to prevent eye fatigue. Besides the technical aspects, the monitors offer a very sustainable and low energy solution and this was certainly a key topic into EUROCONTROL’s approach for the new Network Manager Operations Centre.


The Partnership
The actual installation time was approximately 2.5 months. That is quite significant for this volume and complexity. From October 30 to 31, 2023, there was a seamless transition for the operational team. Ready for the next steps in the coming years, ready to deliver customer-centric services for operational stakeholders. “Yes, definitely. We are ready for the future now,” believes Matthis Birenheide.

Photos and text provided courtesy of Whitemilk.


Deployed Products

FlexScan EV3285 (Successor Model: FlexScan EV3240X)

Case Studies
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