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There is no such standard! This philosophy will differ between company, and there will generally be an accepted style guide internal to a company, this style guide will probably be inconsistent with other regions, even other assets within the same region. Most of these colour choices will be a hangover from the legacy DCS screens which made best use of the limited colour palette available and may have looked good at the time after green screens, but nowadays look like someone having a go in MS Paint!
I have seen Green for Gas, but also seen Green for Oil, and seen Green for Water, and in some cases seen Green for produced water (but waste water is blue) I have also seen Gas as yellow and also red. I've also seen where only the valves are animated with this colour (when open) so no way of knowing what the flowline is if valve is closed. It gets to the stage where you need a colour legend to make sense of the colours, and it grows longer than a shopping list so usually needs to live on a separate screen. Usability goes out the window!
There does actually exist an HMI standard now (ISA101) which defined the High Performance HMI standard (there is a great book on the same) this is written by the same group (PAS) who also defined the standards for Alarm Management, and those standards have been adopted a lot quicker in the industry, the HMI standards still seem stuck, but this is changing (just not in O&G). This standard says colour should only be used to alert users to abnormal situations, and pipes are dark grey, and line width is used to differentiate between the importance of a line (ie. a fuel gas flow would be thinner than the product gas flow if shown on the same page) To distinguish between different flows (ie. water and gas) different shades of grey are used (the darkest shade being used for the most important) To avoid any ambiguity, the start of the pipeline has a text label. I think this looks very clean and uncluttered but have yet to convince anyone to have screens built like this!
The same goes for valves and equipment such as pumps. Typically O&G is obsessed with Green for running and Red for stopped (unless its an electrical device or a power turbine, in which case Red means its running (its hot) or energised, and green means it stopped....) The High Performance HMI states it should be a white for running and dark grey for stopped, with a text label of the status to prevent any ambiguity. A good rule of thumb seems to be, if you can print it out on a black and white printer and still be able to discern about the same amount of information.
Sorry this is a bit long and probably doesn't answer your question, but is something I have had many discussions with at length, and having a child who is colour blind don't want him to not get the chance to work in an industry because of some poor design standards that never matured with technology
So short answer, no there is not really a standard (although this depends who you ask) but I would suggest some key users suggest a style guide and these are adopted as standard and used consistently across every screen you build (consistently being the key word!)
Try this link as food for thought!
Hi Keilan, thank you so much for the detailed explanation.
In other words, the standard practices vary depending on the industry, location and a whole lot of other factors such as individual preference and so on an so forth.
I did glance through the High Performance Graphics Case Study, it was quite a good comparative study on the HMI Graphics.
Personally, I prefer some color to differentiate between the different Piping, Valves and multiple other components.
However, I do see your point on reducing bright colors to simplify the HMI graphics so that it is more precise and straight to the point.
Right now, I'll stick with the current standards used in the company, as a majority of them are quite comfortable with the current HMI scheme.
Thanks again Keilan.