EPIC’s team of expert automation engineers takes great pride in executing all jobs on time and on budget. Our proven method of project execution plus decades of in-plant experience – both as plant engineers and now as integrators – have helped us fine-tune the craft of executing successful industrial automation projects.
What have you learned over the years that helps keep your automation project on track and on budget? Many, many things that can’t be explained in a blog post (take us out for a beer sometime). But in terms of general strategies, there are three main things that come to mind:
We Vet Projects for Feasibility During the Design Stage
This may seem simple but there are many vendors in the world that will develop a project to exactly meet what they are told. In our eyes, that is just lazy. Often projects have unexpected challenges or issues with the original spec that can be caught early on with a thorough review from an experienced team.
We thoroughly vet your projects for feasibility when we develop a spec, something a surprising number of people fail to do. We want to deliver a system that runs optimally and deliver it on time and on budget, not one that meets the on-paper spec but doesn’t actually work. Any red flags and potential solutions are discussed with you to develop a spec that both meets your goals and will work on startup.
While this approach may seem like more work up-front, it actually minimizes time spent during the engineering process; much less going back to the drawing board to redefine the scope or to work around a problem.
We Treat Industrial Automation Project Schedule Dates as Hard Commitments
Some companies make attractive project schedules up-front and then miss every milestone along the way. Nothing is more frustrating than dealing with always-behind vendors, especially with everyone internally breathing down your neck to get the project done.
We develop detailed schedules for all our projects and take making milestone dates – or any date commitments – very seriously. A date is something EPIC is on the hook to execute for, and the client knows when to expect their system. If an unavoidable delay comes up, we will brief as soon as possible and adjust the timeline accordingly.
We Execute the Electrical Installation
Part of being able to make your date commitments is having control over the items that often lead to delays. Electrical installation is the main culprit of schedule delays on most plant automation projects.
Why is this particular item important for us to control? We design your control systems in-house, which means we understand the industrial automation design far better than a subcontractor or even your in-house team. Having a team who understands the system installing relays, control boxes, and switches eliminate confusion and prevent issues upon startup.
We can guarantee startup dates because we order all the parts and equipment and know exactly when it is available for installation. No waiting for replies to email forwards to find missing HMI’s. .
We take pride in completing projects on track and on budget. Delays cost you time, money, and sanity and they cost us valuable relationships. That’s why we voice our concerns, make schedules, and complete the project from start to finish.
This doesn’t mean you are completely off the hook. The best clients to work with communicate with us throughout the project. We want to have the type of relationship where we can mutually trust each other enough to be able to candidly talk about industrial automation projects.
Our team aims to provide the best systems possible on every project. If you have a project, or if you have questions regarding industrial automation, please contact us at 314-845-0077.