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PLCs, DCSs and camera control

66 panels for Nippon Shokubai

“Deadlines are always crucial. Particularly when the panels form part of a construction project. However, it’s only when you work for a Japanese company that you realise how ‘sacred’ a deadline can be.” For our client Yokogawa, we constructed 66 panels, from DCS to motor starter panels. Business development manager Roberto Musolino and key account manager Florian Symons explain how they approached this major project.

Roberto: “Yokogawa is a Japanese company that manufactures control systems as well as testing and measuring equipment for the process industry. We’ve been working for them for a considerable time; from small to indeed very large projects. Most of these projects have been in Belgium, however we expect to also work in the UK, Germany and France in future.”

Florian: “The project for Nippon Shokubai is best described as a larger project. Nippon Shokubai manufactures super absorbers used in nappies. They were on the cusp of expanding their Zwijndrecht location, when Yokogawa stepped in. And they called on us. Our assignment: to engineer and construct 66 boards. These boards mainly consisted of programmable logic controllers (PLC), along with computer boards and distributed control systems (DCS) with computer accessories. There were also motor control panels and operational boards for cameras. Highly diverse. The two electric units that start up the production process were also designed by us. However, this was via a different client and belongs in another narrative.”

Roberto: “Any construction project is always subject to some pretty tight deadlines. There comes a point which is exactly the right moment to install the boards. And when this moment arrives, well… the boards just simply need to be there! Otherwise the site grinds to a halt and you may as well shred the entire planning. For Japanese companies deadlines are carved in granite. And at P&V we must of course be able to cycle in tandem with this culture. Our capacity is just one factor though. It’s also vital that our internal processes are a well oiled and clearly structured machine. We need to ensure we can always fall back on a coherent and logical process flow and that our warehouse management system is up to the mark. In addition, everything needs to be recorded in a quality manual.”

Florian: “This also creates the space for flexibility. I mean, there’s always the potential of the unforeseen present on any construction site which can of course have an impact on our boards. These last minute changes mean you need to be prepared to react rapidly and flexibly enough to make key adjustments.”

Roberto: “The delivery was split into five phases. The last of these was at the end of May – beginning of June. Each time the Yokogawa team would arrive here to perform testing on site. We certainly look back upon this project with a great deal of satisfaction. The collaboration went particularly well, the end evaluation proved extremely positive. Our trip to Japan has certainly left me with plenty of great memories. The P&V team visited the Yokogawa head office while the project was still ongoing. It was a fascinating experience to sit around the meeting table with some of their top brass. For us, certainly a real boost!”

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