By Todd Nydam, JWC Environmental LLC & Graham Nasby, Eramosa Engineering Inc.
Integrating controls from an equipment supplier successfully within a Plant SCADA or DCS system requires communication on multiple levels. These levels include process of design, mechanical fit up and installation, as well as the coordination to get the equipment to work in concert with the plant’s other control systems. Simply looking after mechanical/electrical details are not enough. To be successful, the plant’s System Integrator and the equipment supplier’s PLC programmer must work with each other throughout the entire project’s development.
From the perspective of an equipment supplier, there are several things that can be done to help streamline the process integrating packaged equipment into a plant. The first and foremost is planning. Both parties – the plant designer and the equipment vendor - need to understand and appreciate what the equipment is supposed to be doing – and how it will do it – in the context of the entire plant. This includes both the process design and the controls design.