Engineering Design Services

Control, automation and electrical systems design and engineering includes technical design and/or review, procurement, construction supervision, commissioning, startup and training.

Engineering Plans

Design Services

  • Drawings & Specifications

  • Integrated Design Package

  • Site Code Safety Evaluations

  • Client Interface with Electric Utilities

Capital Projects

  • Solicit and Evaluate Contractor Bids

  • Economic and Technical Analysis of Options

  • Procurement Support

Installation

  • Construction Management Support

  • Contractor Supervision

  • Write Test Procedures

  • Facilitate Measurement and Verification

  • Commissioning

  • Training

  • On-Site Support

General Electrical Tasks That Vary Depending on the Project
  • System Design and/or Design Review

  • Pole Lighting

  • Lighting Design

  • Lightning Design

  • Load Lists

  • Electrical One Line Development and/or Review

  • Electrical Systems Design, Calculations, Evaluation, and/or Review

  • Electrical Code Evaluations

  • Equipment Specification

  • Contractor Bid & Selection Process

  • Commissioning Supervision

  • Represent Client Interfacing with Electric Utilities

  • System Simulations and Studies and/or Review

  • Plant Equipment Location Plans

  • Wiring Methods Specifications and Lists

  • Specialize in Electrically Hazardous Areas Design, Evaluation, Solutions

  • Commissioning Supervision

  • Training

Electrical Inspectors

Electrical Systems Design

 
Electrical Construction Plans

Controls Systems
Services

  • Piping and Instrument Diagram (P&ID) Development

  • Controls Systems Design, Evaluation, and/or Review

  • Control Architecture Design, Development and/or Review

  • Detailed Design and/or Design Review

  • Instruments, Control System, Hardware and Software Specifications

  • Controls Calculations and/or Calculation Review

  • Controls, Fire, and Safety Code Evaluations

  • Contractor Bid & Selection Process

  • Programming Controllers and Operator Interfaces

  • Commissioning and/or Commissioning

  • Supervision

  • Training

 
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By definition, a control system involves primary measurement elements (such as flow, pressure, temperature and many others),signal transmission typically via wire or air, input processing, signal interpretation, logical decision making, telemetry, such as measurements and outputs status, display, output control, final control element (such as control valves, heaters, or other devices or systems). Near real-time information is provided to operators or technicians and usually data archiving and reporting are needed and provided.

 

Standard control system components include field sensing elements (instruments) and transmitters, control valves, heaters, chillers, boilers, machines, alarm beacons and strobes, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), human machine operator interface (HMI), computer servers, communications and other equipment. Control panels protect electronic equipment that makes up the control system.

 

Application software typically includes an operating system, controller configuration and programming, graphical operator interface configuration and programming, and a historian for data archiving. Larger systems with hundreds or thousands of inputs and outputs are considered a Distributed Control System (DCS).

Controls and Automation Engineers

Controls and automation engineers utilize a wide range of skills to visualize, design, and implement solutions to real world tasks or problems. Designs involve electrical, electro-mechanical and/or chemical process systems with the goal of effective and efficient systems. Technical skills are applied to new capital projects or retrofits of existing systems or facilities. Controls and automation engineers play a pivotal role in most commercial and industrial projects, because the mechanical systems must be integrated with electrical systems to provide a complete design that operates effectively and efficiently.

Controls and automation engineers design hardware and software to implement client needs. The system may include a few control loops or thousands. There may be one single loop controller, multiple single-loop controllers, a programmable logic controller, or in larger systems, a network of programmable logic controllers.

 

Our Controls & Automation Engineering Process

Controls and automation engineers’ typical role on a medium or large commercial or industrial design project include:

  • Write a Control System Basis of Design document. This lays out project goals, technology, priorities, areas of risk, assumptions, and high-level specifications to address client needs early in the project. This document can vary based on technology, schedule limitations, or as client priorities change, so it should be followed and updated periodically to maintain project continuity, which is very important on long lead time projects.

  • Create a Preliminary Design package of drawings and specifications for client evaluation. The client and engineer agree on a target design percentage complete, such as 10%-25%. Usually, a Piping and Instrument Diagram (P&ID) is created based on a process and mechanical or chemical engineers design a process with working fluids. Controls engineers work with mechanical and chemical engineers to annotate P&IDs. A Controls Architecture (CA) is designed to specify the control system network. Some equipment specifications may be outlined with important requirements. Generally, the client reviews the preliminary design and provides feedback to the engineers at this point before moving ahead with design.

  • Specify long-lead time packaged equipment. This task is completed early in the project to allow vendors to design and build packaged equipment, such as combustion turbines, heat recovery steam generators, boilers, compressors, switchgear, transformers, motor control centers, or other specialized equipment that may be skids, trailers, or field-erected.

  • Generate a Detailed Design Package including drawings and equipment specifications. Again, the client and engineer agree to a target design percentage complete, such as 80%-100%. The goal is a final design that can be built. Some systems designed at 80% can be built, but others must be at 95% or 100% before they can be built, due to complexity. The engineering design firm usually is not the company that builds the plant or system. Detailed design is the largest task for most engineering disciplines. The controls engineer works with the electrical power, mechanical engineers, structural engineers, architects, equipment vendors, and clients to facilitate an integrated, complete control system design.

  • Support equipment procurement. Long-lead time packaged equipment may need to be reviewed before it ships from the manufacturer’s facility, especially more complicated systems that operate independently and as part of the larger plant. Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT) are critical for some equipment to verify the equipment meets specifications at the factory before it ships to the field for installation. Typically, the cost of the FAT more than pays for itself in avoided field modifications, which are far more expensive, risky, and can affect project schedule.

  • Commissioning involves equipment checkout, configuration, networking and programming. Loop checks are completed for each controller input and output to verify wiring, device ranges and functions. Switchgear statuses and interlocks are verified. Variable-frequency drives are programmed and tested. Control system alarms and interlocks are checked out. The role of the controls engineer may be actual systems commissioning or may be supervision of a commissioning agent or automation contractor, depending on project size and structure. Generally, Commissioning Plans are required to sequence and maintain the order and safety of the commissioning process. Some systems are needed before other systems can be commissioned safely and efficiently. For example, an operating flammable gas detection system is required prior to allowing fuel gas into piping or vessels.

  • Operator training may be required, depending on the system, modes, and whether operators are learning new systems or control concepts. Develop Training Plans based on new or modified equipment or systems as appropriate for plant operators.

  • Generally, the control system engineers are the last to leave the site because civil, structural, mechanical, and electrical systems work is completed before the control system is commissioned. Once control system commissioning is completed, the project or plant is handed over to the client or owner.