API publishes new specification for SCADA data display

Oil IT Journal reviews API RP 1165 specification for pipeline SCADA data display.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has just released a new recommended practice specification (API RP 1165) for Pipeline SCADA Displays. The document covers design and implementation of pipeline control center displays and provides guidance to pipeline companies or operators selecting or upgrading their SCADA systems.


The specification derives from work done by the API’s Cybernetics Subcommittee on human machine interfaces used to display control information from pipeline systems. The RP considers ‘human factors’ like short-term memory limitations, and fundamental human information processing capacity limits. Display design also needs to allow for real world environments and eye scan patterns.


The RP works through considerations of display layout and hierarchy, number of screens, number of items per screen, menus, navigation techniques and input devices. Color usage, animation, recommended fonts are also covered and an appendix of sample displays show typical deployment in pumping unit activity, valve status, set point status, alarms, event summaries, detail point data and drill down tends. Samples of station displays combining all of the above are also provided. The 58 page document is available from http://www.api.org/Publications/new/rp-1165-pa.cfm at a cost of $135.

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