We provide process automation services to mining companies that optimizes mine yields and reduce cost.  Our service include the following.

Engineering

Developing Instrumentation index, Instruments data sheets, Control systems IO list, Logic diagrams, Panel layout, Wiring diagrams, FAT/SAT protocols and documentation required on the project.

Instrumentation specialist

Manages instrumentation installation on the field, use proper configuration/calibration procedures and is also responsible for the supervision of control panel mounting.

PLC programmer

Delivers programming, testing and commissioning, according to the best practice. That is the First Integration Level.

HMI programmer

Implements control system design, testing and commissioning. This is the second integration level because it is the interface that will interact with operators.

Project Phases

Project Planning

In this phase of the project we first elaborate a timing to define priorities, responsibilities, and resources. We establish progressive goals according to the defined timing. The list of deliverable documents and files is generated in this project phase.

Once timing is ready, responsibilities will be assigned to trained staff at ECN Automation.

To handle the project in a more efficient way the whole plant is divided in Areas. For each Area the deliverable documents and files include at least Engineering Drawings, PLC Programming and HMI screens.

Also, as a planning procedure, a “Critical Path” is defined to establish a higher priority to certain tasks required to complete the Area engineering.

A weekly meeting with the client takes place to review project progress and verify per project schedule.

Project Implementation

Engineering

At the base of the Integration Stages pyramid we have the Engineering stage, the “Foundations” of any project. This phase is dedicated to generate Instrumentation Index, P&ID drawings and Control Philosophy using Logic Diagrams. This documentation is delivered to the PLC and HMI Programmers so they can start making the code and control screens.

For this project, engineering will be delivered for each area according to the project timing.

Programming

PLC and HMI programmers build an I/O list based on the Instrumentation index. Then PLC programmers construct process control logic based on logic control diagrams and control philosophy as well. HMI programmers work on HMI screens.

Once panel’s engineering is finished both PLC and HMI programmers link tags in the Data Base with physical address based on Panel’s drawings making the screen active along with the PLC program.

FAT – Factory Acceptance Test

FAT for Control System takes place in the Project Department at ECN. All I/O, alarms, and control logic is tested using a PLC simulator to verify that everything is properly linked and functioning.

On each of these tests a verification list is filled and observations are written to assure that every needed correction is made, and then a new test is run again until the final product is free of defects.

Field Supervision

At the same time that PLC and HMI programming is tested, the Field Instrumentation Specialist takes care of the Supervision for all panel mounting and instrument installation and commissioning.

Commissioning and Start-up

When panel and instrumentation installation is ready in the field, the Control System is installed at the plant site, loading the PLC and HMI made by the programmers on the hardware.

Each PLC is tested, checking all I/O from the instruments in coordination with the instrumentation specialist to verify the proper reading and transmitting of signals. The HMI programmer verifies that all the information is correctly shown at the HMI Screens.

Once all I/O has been checked, control tests are made by sending commands directly from Screens. like starting and stopping pumps, opening and closing valves, etc. Each component (Pump, Valve, motor, instrument reading) is tested to ensure that no failure is present.

Finally when all PLC’s and HMI’s have been tested a complete test for the whole Control System is the next step. In this step the Auto Start sequences, loop controls and the complete control philosophy is tested to ensure the correct operation of the process following the SAT (Site Acceptance Test) protocol.  In a similar way to the FAT protocol all observations are logged in a punch list and corrected.

Personnel assigned to the project remains at field until a fully functional process application is delivered. Along with this final step ECN provides the operation and maintenance training and manuals to ensure that the personnel at plant feel confident in assuming full control.

Project Support

Project support is a concern to guarantee the complete functionality of a project, especially during the transition from the contractor delivery and the plant operation, that’s why we put special attention on this activity.

1. On site support

After the start-up and project acceptance by the customer, we extend our stay at the location from 1 to 2 weeks with a 100% availability for any technical support/training required. Following the extended local stay for direct support, we offer a 7-day, 24-hour response service to travel from Tucson, AZ to the project’s location.

2. Remote support

ECN provides a convenient telephone service by PSTN or GSM/GPRS that we offer from our office in Tucson, AZ.  When timing is critical, we can access your control system securely to quickly solve a problem.

3. Maintenance contract

We can design a customer service package that best fits your requirements.

 

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