A Proven Process for Industrial Automation Engineering Success
Everybody has a skill; we all have something that we do better than most people. In our particular case, it is programming PLCs, HMIs and SCADA, and just about anything to do with customized industrial process automation. With over 15 years of on-the-job automation engineering experience (and not including our personal projects where we teach PLCs how to jump through flaming hoops!), we’ve developed a proven process that works, no matter how simple or complex the manufacturing challenge. Collaborating with you step by step throughout the process, we’re able to deliver a modern industrial automation solution that’s guaranteed to meet your needs.
Step #1: Discovery Phase
The goal of any project we undertake is to deliver on time, under budget and provide exceptional results. To put us on the road to success, we start with those that understand your processes and requirements best – you. Through initial meetings and subsequent discussions you can expect us to ask a lot of questions. We then take what we learn to define a roadmap of the project and jointly develop a Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) that we can all use to define a successful project outcome.
We focus on objectives, not just deliverables. Just because a project is built on time and within the budget does not guarantee success. Success is about saving money, increasing productivity, maximizing availability and ultimately manufacturing quality products, and that’s exactly what our process is designed to do.
Step #2: Concept and Proposal
After all of the initial discovery is done, our engineering team puts their creative problem solving skills and technical know-how to work to identify the right solution for your unique manufacturing challenge. Using our knowledge of the latest trends in the industry, as well as the most advanced technology, software and state-of-the-art tools, we’ll thoroughly outline our recommended solution to meet your needs in a comprehensive project proposal.
Step #3: Engineering and Design
After our initial concept meetings, our designers get to work to prove out our concept using a 3D model created in SolidWorks and/or electrical design in AutoCAD Electrical, presenting you with a thorough and detailed design for review. For machines, we do all of our designs in SolidWorks, which allows you to really see how your machine will look and function. For controls, we design in AutoCAD Electrical and provide detailed drawings for panel layouts and schematics. The objective of this stage of the project is to make sure that we are all on the same page. The engineering and design phase ends with a review where we meet with you, either in person or online, to go over the models, fine tune the design and make any necessary changes.
Step #4: Procurement, Fabrication and Assembly
Step #5: Integration and Testing
After we build your machine or controls, we test and debug to ensure everything works as planned. We consult with our customers, suggest changes or simplifications, and get the system running as much as possible before we are ready for the Factory Acceptance Test.
Step #6: Factory Acceptance Test (FAT)
If required, you and your team will come to our facility to see a demonstration test of your machine or controls based on an FAT document that is prepared in advance. Typically after a 4 hour demonstration, a punch list is created and we polish up any last minute changes.
Step #7: Commission and Training
After the equipment is delivered, we can provide engineering and technicians to start up your system at your location and train your staff. We will follow through to make sure that the project meets the SOP originally developed in the Discovery Phase.
Step #8: Documentation
In addition to training your internal resource(s), we’ll also provide you with operating instructions, mechanical and electrical schematics, a spare parts list and any special documents necessary to run your machine independently and successfully, though we are always a phone call away should you need us.
Step #9: Support & Maintenance
We provide several support and maintenance options for the machines and systems we’ve installed to insure you have the level of service required to keep you up and running.
How Can We Help?
Although we have the process down, we’re always up for a new challenge and look forward to hearing about your project. Call us at (866) PLC-GUYS.