Whether you need to control a wastewater treatment plant, pharmaceutical production equipment, or oil and…
Whether your organization needs a new industrial control panel (ICP) for a pharmaceutical production line or a treatment process at a wastewater facility, it’s imperative that this critical component of the control system functions correctly from day one. After making the investment to improve control system functionality, your focus should be on improved production, not troubleshooting the installation.
Therefore, unlike many other ICP builders, at George T. Hall (GTH) we do not feel our job is done when functional testing in our panel shop is complete. We know that even though an ICP passes functional and quality testing in the factory, installation can be a challenging task. Therefore, our philosophy is that we support our clients until we can confirm that the ICP is properly working as intended onsite.
To give our customers the confidence that their ICP will function correctly and adhere to any applicable industry standards, such as those set by UL, NFPA, and the International Society for Automation (ISA), we offer comprehensive post-build field start-up services as an option in the scope of ICP design and fabrication plans. Our field startup service includes everything from extensive system documentation to onsite I/O and loop checks to final start-up testing.
A Successful Start-Up Begins with Detailed Documentation
We start the process of ensuring a successful installation long before the panel ever leaves our shop by compiling detailed startup, test, maintenance, and training documentation for all our design-build ICPs. This includes quality test documents, field commissioning test forms, and all the documentation required for any factory acceptance tests (FAT) we perform. Our clients, project engineers, and other stakeholders can use our documentation as a guide to setup and test equipment to ensure proper installation. Upon completion, we provide this documentation for system maintenance and operator training.
Onsite Technical Support for Start-Up Services – Our Key to Long-Term ICP Success
Once an ICP arrives onsite, one or more of our highly skilled field technicians will travel to the site to work with project engineers or contractors to ensure the control panel is properly installed. This includes visually checking that all connections are within spec, ensuring all components are calibrated correctly, and validating functionality once the system is energized. Let’s explore our proven process for performing ICP startups in more detail.
Point-to-Point I/O Checks
Prior to energizing the system, we need to verify every I/O point and confirm that all instruments connected to the ICP are properly wired and functioning correctly. We do this through a multi-layer I/O check that includes a thorough review of all mechanical, electrical, and communication connections prior to validating functionality.
We start our point-to-point I/O checks by working with the end user’s representatives to verify mechanical and electrical connections. Using our documentation, we work together to verify that the grounding is correct along with wire size, labeling, termination point, and signal type verifications. Once the mechanical and electrical layers are verified, the system is energized so we can check system communications and verify each I/O point on the PLC and also that the correct information is being sent to the HMI or SCADA.
Operational Readiness Testing and Final Start-Up Testing
Loop checking is the final step we perform before commissioning a system. We conduct loop checks by utilizing the user interface, ensuring that commands given, such as opening a valve, happen as they should both in auto and manual modes. Once every loop is validated, we request that our clients monitor and run the system for 7 to 10 days and document any anomalies or modifications that may be necessary. To make quick critical updates, we offer remote access via cellular modem. Upon our final system review and making any necessary modifications, the system is officially turned over for production.
Ensuring Continued Success with Your ICP
The ICP is a critical component of any control system. While it is our goal for the system to operate without issue from day one, we realize there are many facets to a successful implementation. At GTH, we strive for continuous improvement and understand that our clients place considerable trust in our product and processes. As a result, we offer an extended warranty on any system where onsite testing and startup services are provided.
To learn more about our post-build field startup services, contact one of our engineers today.
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