The following content provides detail about machinery and application control system engineering services offered to Clients. Individual services may be selected as required for example Site Survey and Specification will allow sufficient information capture to allow the application control system design to be implemented by other parties.

All services are controlled by ISO9001:2015 certification through the use of a job plan document. This document details which services are to be provided within the order scope, a brief application description, timescales and a design risk assessment.

Due to the complex nature of modern machinery control systems, services are offered subject to suitable equipment competency as detailed within the Skills section of this web site.

Services

Client Support Services

Application support and troubleshooting services covering automation and variable speed drive systems.

Machinery, electrical equipment and control system support services covering automation systems. Such services include:

  • Research and development.

  • Basic design and feasibility studies.

  • Performance issues of machinery.

  • Faults and troubleshooting.

  • Motors and variable speed drives.

  • EMC related problems and issues.

  • General support and advice.

  • Consulting services.

  • Written reports.

  • Expert witness services.

Support services are offered both UK and world wide within safe regions and are subject to our terms and conditions.

Detailed equipment support is subject to the necessary competencies as detailed within the Skills section of this website.

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Site Surveys

On site equipment surveys and meetings to discuss the project application in detail.

The site survey is a critical starting point for any project to determine the required technical and operational details of an application and allow a formal written project specification to be prepared.

 

The site survey often takes the form of one or more on-site meetings to introduce relevant Client staff who will act as the main contacts and are knowledgeable about the application.

In the case of a control system upgrade the technical detail may be derived from examination of existing electrical and mechanical drawings together with in-depth surveys of machinery and electrical equipment. Detailed notes are usually taken such that sufficient technical information is recorded to allow a project specification to be prepared.

During the on-site survey it is critical that knowledgeable Staff are available such that all operational aspects of the application can be recorded.

Feedback and suggestions will always be offered to improve the technical and operational application design. 

Technical and other information typically required during a site survey may include:

  • Confirmation of the scope of supply.

  • Motors and other electrical loads.

  • Sensors and feedback devices.

  • Type of electrical supply

  • Supply short circuit ratings.

  • How the application operates.

  • Application problems and issues.

  • On-site and regulatory standards.

  • Installation requirements.

  • Special requirements.

  • Confirmation of safety risk assessments.

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Project Specifications

Written specification documentation detailing all relevant aspects of the application from a control system perspective.

The formal project specification consists of one or more written documents which detail relevant aspects of the application such that engineering design can proceed. This important document details what is to be delivered to the Client and also informs the Client of what will be received. 

Experience shows that detailed formal specification documents save considerable re-work time later during the design and commissioning processes.

Typical detailed information included within the project specification may include:

  • Purpose and scope of supply.

  • Description of the application.

  • Motors and other electrical loads.

  • Sensors and feedback devices.

  • Details of the operator interface.

  • Details of the electrical supply.

  • Supply short circuit ratings.

  • On-site and regulatory requirements.

  • Safety system description.

  • Safety system performance level.

  • EMC design critieria.

  • Operating sequences.

  • Details of equipment enclosures

  • Overview of equipment manufacturers.

  • Details of special requirements.

As part of our ISO9001 certification, we require that the completed specification document is reviewed and signed off by the Client before engineering design can take place.

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Engineering Design

Engineering design calculations, together with documentation, electrical schematics and enclosure layouts.

Following on from a written specification provided by the Client or from in house documentation, the engineering basic and detailed design can proceed. Basic design calculations, proof of concept studies and equipment research will take place, for example:

  • Rated and short circuit values.

  • Power budgets.

  • Enclosure heat loss budgets.

  • Over-current protection device selection.

  • Safety system equipment selection.

  • Hazardous area proof of design.

  • Selection of control equipment.

  • Motor speed and torque calculations.

  • Discussions with equipment suppliers.

  • Computer modelling of applications.

Following on from the basic design, detailed electrical schematics, enclosure layouts, parts lists and wiring schedules are produced using EPlan P8 schematic capture software. These documents provide sufficient detail to allow the electrical control system to be constructed and installed at the end user site.

Engineering basic design is also used to provide parts lists and initial costings to prove the viability of a project prior to implementing the detailed design process. This helps prevent implementation of time consuming detailed design for cases where the project could end up over budget and therefore not viable. For complex control systems, basic design can take place prior to equipment quotation to assess viability at this early stage.

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Software Services

Programming and configuration services for automation, power conversion and motor drive equipment.

Many modern control systems are highly flexible and require programming and configuration through the use of software tools. Software services are offered to program and configure automation and motor drive equipment to allow the project application to operate as required. Overview documentation such as state transition and signal flow diagrams are prepared to assist with the structure of software programs. Such high level documentation can be reviewed by the Client prior to code writing. The following software offerings include:

  • Siemens TIA Portal PLC.

  • Siemens TIA Portal HMI.

  • Siemens TIA Portal safety.

  • Siemens S120 and G120 drives.

  • Beijers HMI.

  • National Instruments Labview.

All software is constructed using a structured approach using object oriented methods where possible. Comments are always included to improve maintenance understanding of software code.

Bench testing of all software functions is implemented either on the actual hardware or using software simulators where possible.

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Commissioning

Commissioning and start-up of machinery control systems.

Commissioning services are offered to start-up machinery systems and ensure that the required operational specifications are achieved. Commissioning tasks include:

  • Equipment and housekeeping checks.

  • Power on tests.

  • Load software programs.

  • Check I/O systems.

  • Check safety systems.

  • Equipment calibration.

  • Unit function tests.

  • Overall function tests.

  • Performance tests.

In line with ISO9001:2015 procedures, a test plan is usually produced prior to commissioning activities. The test plan will be followed and checked off as the actual commissioning proceeds.

Prior to commissioning a risk assessment and method statements will be created in line with site requirements to ensure safety during the commissioning process.

As the commissioning process draws to a conclusion, operator and maintenance staff training can be offered.

When the application is commissioned to a satisfactory standard, we require commissioning sign off by the Client to complete the project.

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Project Management

Technical engineering management of suppliers during the design, installation and commissioning processes.

Technical management of suppliers ensures that all equipment is assembled and installed according to the relevant specifications. National standards such as the European EMC directive are considered as part of the Supplier supervision. Good engineering practice is encouraged at all times during equipment construction and installation. Key suppliers are suitably vetted to ensure satisfactory build quality.

 

Project management is also offered to provide technical expertise while acting for a Client through all phases of construction, installation and commissioning to ensure a satisfactory project outcome.

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Training

General training courses for machinery automation applications and control equipment

The following general training courses are offered covering machinery control and automation systems:

  • DC motors and drives.

  • AC motors and drives.

  • PLC systems.

  • EMC and industrial automation.

  • Web transport systems.

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