by Oliver Yu
Speaking to a lot of prospects, I get this sense that the purpose of building and commissioning their plant is so the project engineer can finish their project. That the purpose of deploying control systems is to fill up their PI archives.
To me, that's wagging the dog.
You see, I'm the guy who uses the system. The cell culture engineer reporting applying statistical process control concepts to large-scale cell culture manufacturing. The guy who comes in after the professional the system integrator does the installation qualification (IQ) and operation qualification (OQ) and applies all that data to get a return for the company.
The system integrator is some automation engineer that works for a system integration company and his core competency is to deploy these systems. When that system integrator is done, he's off to another project at another company. He's not sticking around to actually use the system that he helped build.
Why is this important? A lot of prospects I meet are leaving the value on the table. They have uber-powerful systems like OSIsoft PI, but for the most part, don't use it. A lot of prospects think is there as a CYA-requirement... like something required to comply with cGMP.
The system integrator can tell you all about scan classes or data compression or instrument tags. The system integrator can't tell you about how best to build PI ProcessBook displays so your engineers can apply the data immediately... or the principles of PI Alias Nomenclature... or best practices for defining your equipment hierarchy.
Those items... crucial for getting a high ROI on your system... sit in this immense vacuous gap.
My opinion for what the solution is? A system integrator with real experience in your world, solving your problems with the tools you are trying to deploy.
For SCADA integrators, you're probably okay. For OSIsoft PI system integration? Go with a domain expert.
Biotech System Integrator for OSI PI