Create value with re-use

When you finish a project, begin working to catalog what was built, the standards used (and improved), and where and how that work could be applied in future. Not-invented-here syndrome is a common challenge in system integration and with engineering in general. See chart and table.

06/10/2013


How much re-use are you getting out of your projects? In other words, when you finish one project what parts can you directly apply to the next? As a specific example we often ask the question:

How many projects can a great Functional Design Specification (FDS) affect before the start of a project:

- One

How many projects can a great FDS effect after the project if time is taken to complete the as-built document, add screen-shots with callouts, and file with an appropriate version number in a public space for sharing?

- 10? 20? Many.

Why then do so many projects drop the ball after the project is complete and walk away without working to catalog what was built, the standards used (and improved) and where and how that work could be applied in future. Not-invented-here syndrome is a common challenge in system integration (and engineering in general) but if we can get move past this the potential for both individual project success as well as long term growth of the integration industry is huge. As a summary, the chart details the integration project costs (both as dollar and percentage values) for a two-plant install between continents.  The Plant 1 design and implementation contributed directly to Plant 2. All efforts listed represent direct integration costs only.

Software reuse drastically reduces system integration costs as this chart shows. Courtesy: Callisto Integration.

 

 

Software reuse drastically reduces system integration costs, as this table shows. Courtesy: Callisto IntegrationFurther to the direct integration benefits of re-use, client-centric benefits include:

 

Lower project risk – Components identified as new/different are noted as risk factors and engineering effort is spent up front mitigating that risk. As an example, a set of pre-built VM servers that can be re-used from project to project will lower the risk of incorrect software install order, unsupported patch installations, or other configuration errors, which can result in longer setup and commissioning time. 

 

·         Lower support cost – If the same standards are used across multiple sites or lines, the net training effort required for the organization drops significantly. As an example, a video-recorded training presentation which outlines application navigation and troubleshooting can be created and viewed in multiple plants and multiple languages with only one investment in content development.

 

·         Lower threshold for improvement – as an improvement is identified it can be quickly copied from one plant to another. As an example, a recipe improvement in one plant could be electronically submitted to another for next-day business return on investment (ROI).

 

·         Lower per-project design cost – Re-using software from one project to another has a direct, positive impact on business project management costs such as the total time required by H.B. Fuller employees in software reviews (43 vs. 2 as outlined in previous graph)

 

In summary: change your focus. What you do after commissioning should be held in as high regard as what you do before.

- Anthony Baker strikes again: Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration. This blog provides integration advice in plant-floor controls, manufacturing execution systems (MES), and manufacturing consulting, from the factory floor through to the enterprise. Andrew Barker, P.Eng., Callisto Integration, compiled the advice. www.callistointegration.com



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.