For some clients our engineer involvement starts on the front end of a project with the concept. They may have a product that they want to produce without a detailed plan for the automation, data management and/or process requirements. As we work to help develop this concept, we seek to draw out the required details to ensure a successful project. This can include technical specifications for the process, equipment specification, or software functional specifications. It often includes Process Instrumentation Diagrams with all electrical devices and a one-line drawing showing all motors and drives with power requirements. Our conceptual phase typically ends with a scope of work defining the expected deliverables including schedule and costs.
Detailed System Design
Our detailed design phase takes the functional concept and scoping document and generates the detailed hardware design. We utilize AutoCad Electrical to develop prints on either our title block or the clients. Our internal job tracking and estimating package is very efficient at assisting our engineers in the development of a Bill-of-Material (BOM). During this phase, network loading will be considered as well as optimal controls platforms. Additionally the prints and panels are designed to meet the requirements of UL508A, including SCCR calculations. The BOM is developed with consideration to customer preference with appropriate exposure to new technologies. This phase typically concludes with a design review of all of the prints and BOM prior to a release to the shop for construction.
System Software Development & Commissioning
For some of our more common applications, an engineer can develop PLC and/or HMI software in parallel with the hardware design. The functional specification is developed into a detailed software package, utilizing either our internal software standards or that of a client. We offer a balance of proven code of our own or a clients with new approaches offered in industry.
Careful consideration is given to the level of understanding within a facility and the required training to support after we are complete. As we develop HMI screens we start by reviewing screens from previous jobs to provide clients with options for different color schemes before development starts. This phase concludes with a review of the HMI screens and PLC code.
Control Systems Assessment & Obsolescence Planning
We provide services to clients in assessing existing equipment. This can include efforts to optimize performance, decrease waste, reduce labor/injury or other aspects of improving existing equipment. Often we are able to take ideas that we've learned in one industry and apply them to others (i.e. medical packaging to the food industry). Some of this work also involves helping a client identify systems that are obsolete and putting their business at risk.
Because we are able to support and program legacy systems, we are often able to efficiently replace them and/or convert them to new systems.
Multiple Versions, Including Current
Our design team supports both our internal systems engineers as well as clients that are doing their own system engineering. While the work is completed in Autocad Electrical, the drawing format varies from client to client. We typically produce drawings on a client's title block such that they own the drawings upon completion of our work.
Systems Maintenance Contracts & Support
We seek to provide sufficient training and documentation at the conclusion of a project to allow clients to maintain the projects with their own internal staff. Some clients utilize our process and control experience to assist with difficult issues that arise and/or training of equipment that we've not designed. We pull from the same staff of project engineers for this work and treat it as small "projects".
SCCR Calculations & Labeling
For some clients that focus on other aspects of system engineering, we offer a service to review a design (prints/BOM) and determine the SCCR for the panel. In some cases we are contracted to assist with modifying existing design to increase the SCCR rating on a panel.