Three Quick Questions

The EPC choice

1. Why would an EPC choose Symphony Plus for a project?

That’s an interesting question. Symphony Plus is a versatile platform. It has been designed with features and capabilities that provide value to the owner/operator of a plant as well as the EPC. The EPC however, is often concerned with only a subset of the plant owners’ goals. The EPCs’ greenfield business model is to deliver a plant on time, meeting the specification, including startup and commissioning. Their profit is based on their ability to turn the completed plant over to the owner/operator and leave the site. Symphony Plus includes features and functionalities required by most greenfield specifications including but not limited to:

      · Redundancy in design

      · HART support including secondary variables used in control

      · I/O Channel isolation

      · I/O Marshalling

      · Interfaces to Modbus TCP or OPC third party devices

Some additional features, supported by Symphony Plus, are being included in greenfield specifications. These include:
      · NERC/CIP compliance support

      · Embedded historian

      · Alarm Management tools

On the execution side, some of the features that help with efficiency in commissioning include:
      · Continued use of the same function block library that has been a successful legacy dating back to Net90. This ensures they have a deep pool of experienced resources to support the commissioning.

      · Easily forcing I/O or making online database changes.

      · Bulk engineering tools

      · Tighter integration of the S+ Engineering and S+ Operations. This allows calling up faceplates from within the S+ Engineering tool, or calling up a view of the configuration from within S+ Operations.

      · S+ Operations has a real-time tag explorer, which allows easy searches for tags using wildcards, with access to control, configuration, and other features through a context menu, brought up with a right mouse click. This allows efficient commissioning, managing several teams through loop checks and operational tests.

ABB can also provide a flexible set of device level and control loop macros, which are tested, proven, and can be demonstrated early in the project schedule.

    2. So, Symphony Plus can be advantageous for project execution?

Yes, the Symphony Plus platform supports the execution strategy that allows success for both ABB and the EPC. We work with EPCs in a more collaborative manner. We have tools like ABB TeamNet, that allows the EPC, their customer, the owner/operator, and other potential stakeholders, like OEM staff, to access the Symphony Plus configuration in a controlled environment. This allows better reviews at the most appropriate time in the schedule, while minimizing travel costs. We also work with the EPCs to coordinate the work, to avoid unnecessary rework, and therefore avoid unnecessary change orders. By working with the EPC on potential trouble spots like alarm management, eliminating nuisance or standing alarms, we can ensure these issues don’t extend the EPC’s time on site.

    3. What other value-adds can ABB bring to EPCs?

In addition to Instrumentation and Control (I&C), ABB can supply many of the electrical packages in the plant including IEC-61850 based electrical integration. Because monitoring and control of these are through the Symphony Plus platform, ABB is uniquely positioned to assist the EPC in their integration. This of course has value to the end user, as they would get a more tightly integrated solution, than that provided by separate suppliers. But it also has benefits to the EPC which can shift many of the labor intensive tasks from commissioning at site to the checkout in the factory. This reduces their cost, reduces the safety exposure, and again, ensures they can complete their work on time and leave the site. This method does challenge the more traditional EPC approach, but its benefits can be substantial. There is a model called the PEpC* model that works to maximize these benefits…. but that would lead to three more questions.


Phil Trimble
Phil is a Business Development Manager for ABB’s PSPG – Power Generation, currently concentrating on the retrofit market using Symphony Plus. Phil believes that the Symphony Plus Control and I/O form factor make it ideal for not only greenfield EPC projects, but also in control upgrades and rip-and-replace opportunities at existing plants. Phil has worked with engineering and marketing to develop Symphony Plus demo systems to promote the benefits of Symphony Plus Control and I/O, Symphony Plus Engineering, and S+ Operations.

Phil, a University of Pittsburgh alum, came to Bailey Controls in 1990, after working at Newport News Shipbuilding and DD Co, and Westinghouse Electric. While originally brought into the marine group, Phil work primarily with electric utilities. During Phil’s tenure at ABB, he’s worked as a System Engineer, Project Manager, Engineering Supervisor, and as a Resident (Plant) Engineer. He worked in OpEx on the Greenfield Initiative, and currently works in Sales. On reaching his 25th year anniversary, Phil states “It’s been a fun ride, working with great people. With 6 kids and Parent Plus college loans, I’m looking forward to the next 25.”

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    Phil Trimble
    Phil Trimble

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