PRELIMINARY DESIGN PHASE
SPEC automation engineers get involved in the project during the initial design and scope definition phase. How the plant is supposed to operate is as important as how it is constructed, so preliminary functional specifications for plant automation are developed in the preliminary design phase of the project. The I/O count, instrumentation standards, operator interface requirements, and the recipe and data collection philosophy are defined up front so a qualified price estimate can be developed. This is in contrast to the traditional engineering/bid methods of construction which leave the real fixed costs of the process automation budget to the later bidding phase.
DETAILED DESIGN PHASE
During the design phase, the control panels are designed and detailed program functional specifications are developed. Due to the fast track of SPEC projects, automation programs are developed in house as soon as the specifications are completed and approved. SPEC has a team of experienced engineers to program a variety of automation platforms, PLC, DCS, and computer based control systems.
During the construction phase, SPEC automation engineers purchase instruments and automated valves. They are inspected individually by the purchasing engineer prior to release of the item to the installing contractor. SPEC’s automation engineers then provide field supervision, answer RFI’s and provide general assistance to the overall SPEC field superintendent as well as the instrument installers, electricians, and calibration technicians.
After mechanical completion, SPEC automation engineers work closely with the process engineers to start up each automated process and execute detailed site acceptance testing procedures.
LONG TERM SUPPORT
Through on-site assistance and use of remote access communications, SPEC can provide services for system upgrades, troubleshooting, and periodic backup of control system computers.