Domain Expertise and Attention to Detail

Domain Expertise and Attention to Detail INTRODUCTION This post intends to deal with the actual work as well as the emotions that go into a project that is set up for success.  Up front preparation and attention to detail are keys to that success yet that exercise requires great discipline to complete.  Having a Control System Integrator (CSI) that has domain expertise is a great asset in working through the details for your application. DOMAIN EXPERTISE Just exactly what is “Domain Expertise”?  By our definition we mean someone who has had prior, in-depth experience doing the same sort of thing that the project at hand entails. As a customer you might think: “Why are there so many questions?” “If they have all this domain expertise then why do I have to answer so many questions?” The thing is – without domain expertise you don’t really know what questions to even ask let alone recognize reasonable answers.  Having an experienced CSI quiz you about your company’s habits as it relates to the project will uncover more detail than you would at first think. THE INTEGRATOR’S JOB We …

Measuring the Value of a Control System Integrator

Measuring the Value of A Control System Integrator INTRODUCTION This paper is intended to stimulate thought about how we think about value when it comes to control system integration. EARLY LESSONS You may not always ‘get what you pay for’, but if you don’t look for value you are far less likely to find it. What is it that constitutes value to you? Isn’t value that area between ‘extravagant’ and ‘cheap’? You can certainly pay too much for something, but you can also not spend enough. I learned that lesson during my teenage years after buying some ‘inexpensive’ wrenches and then being frustrated when they didn’t perform and left me with bloody knuckles. MEDICAL ANALOGY Let’s talk about medicine to build an analogy.  I imagine that all of us have had some exposure to that topic.  The nagging question seems to always be whether the help you need requires the Mayo Clinic, or if it is something that any local physician can handle.  I remember some counseling that I received years ago from an oncologist.  He said, “No matter who you talk to about treatment their …

Buying Decisions for ISA-88 Batching Solutions

Buying Decisions for ISA-88 Batching Solutions DEFINITIONS PAC:  Programmable Automation ControllerPhase:  The lowest level of procedural element in the procedural control model.  It provides an interface to basic control.Physical Model:  A representation within the ISA-88 product of the physical assets that comprise the batching system.Procedural Model:  A representation within the ISA-88 product that describes a set of activities to beperformed by the Physical model to produce a product or type of product.Unit:  A collection of associated control modules and/or equipment modules that can carry out one or more major processing activities. INTRODUCTION This paper intends to address the decision making around formal ISA-88 batching products such as Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk® Batch. Going forward we will simply use “products” as the expression for formal products that embrace the full ISA-88 standard. There are elements of the ISA-88 standard that have migrated into well- structured applications that don’t use a formal product. Such structure can prove to be helpful and has even gained acceptance outside of the batching industry. This paper, however, intends to help guide the thought process through the evaluation of whether or not you actually need and would benefit from such formal products– and in …