Project: Biopharmaceutical filtration automation (October 19, 2005)


October 19, 2005

Project Status Summary:
1. MF software design--100%
2. MF software code complete--100%
3. UF software design--100%
4. UF software code complete--85%
5. HMI software code complete--40%

HMI Setup
We are still setting up the HMI system that includes two operator interface terminals and one rack mount SCADA server. The server was received from Dell with one drive on two partitions. This makes software development and distribution a bit more difficult to manage and it complicates system management for the customer. At project's end we provide the customer with software we have developed in a single setup program using Wise for Windows Installer. Normally, we would provide a single installation file for the workstations and the server. However, the setup location will default to a single hard drive letter. Because users often just step through setup program files with little care, we would create a separate setup program if the default drive should be D: instead of C: To do this, the drive had to be wiped clean and reformatted as a single partition. We then had to reinstall the operating system and all other software before setting up the SCADA server.

I have to admit, we were a bit surprised to find the multiple partitions. It was common to receive a machine with two partitions under Windows NT 4.0 because it did not support a boot partition greater than 4 GB without using third party software or up to 7.8 GB by physically moving the drive, extending the partition, and moving back to the original machine. Windows 2000 and 2003 no longer have this limitation.

Design Change Requests
We received requested modifications from the customer last week for additional CIP pulsing options for all units. These changes will require an additional three days to incorporate into the design and program. We planned for UF software to be 100% code complete this week but these changes will push out code completion to the following week. Although we identified last Friday as the design freeze date, we learned that the customer has not finished reviewing the MF design document and has yet to begin reviewing the UF design document. We will continue toward software completion adding these changes we received before the design freeze.

Change requests received after the design freeze will be evaluated. If change requests are relatively minor, we will likely incorporate them during the testing phase with no impact to project pricing or schedule. More significant changes will require that we provide the customer with a quotation and schedule impact analysis.

What's Next?
By next week, the developers should begin informal software testing (alpha and beta testing) using HMI graphics and a fully simulated process. HMI development won't be completed yet, but there should be process graphics available to begin testing.

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