In the summer of 2020, a new potential customer approached Denca with a significant enquiry. They are a well-established manufacturer in the chemical industry with a history going back over one hundred years. Consequently, Denca’s chemical sector experience made a natural fit with their needs. We hoped our one-stop-shop approach might give us the edge.
As part of their ongoing commitment to improving processes and maintaining regulatory compliance, they had recognised an area on the site that was in need of updating. Their internal review process had raised concerns raised over functional safety on the line. In conclusion, the area was in need of considerable modernisation. As a result, it proved necessary to close down the production line for an entire product.
The closure resulted in a significant commercial impact, adding urgency to the project. Timely design and implementation of an appropriate solution was essential to allow the manufacturing in this area to resume with the minimum delay.
We invited the customer’s project team to visit our Widnes HQ for initial discussions and to give engineers from each of Denca’s key functional departments to present our capabilities. Our visitors were impressed by what they heard. Moreover, Denca offered the full range of skills and experience to undertake the entire scope of their project in-house under one roof. They saw this as a real benefit.
With the confidence that Denca offered a practical and realistic solution to meeting their requirements, our customer considered and accepted Denca’s proposals and quotation within a month.
The key elements of Denca’s project included:
- Electrical Design work using ePlan P8
- PLC and HMI Design using Siemens TIA
- Process engineering support with the customer-led HAZOP and LOPA
- Control Panel design & build at our in-house facility
- ATEX compliant electrical installation
- On-site commissioning and ATEX inspections
- Project handover including fully traceable documentation
As soon as Denca received the green light on the project, we began work straight away. We were only too aware of the tight timelines and we were keen to start promptly.
The project drew on each of Denca’s 6 functional departments. As a result, communication between all members of our project team was key.
With all elements of the project progressing under one roof and all the project team members connected through our bespoke intranet (designed and developed in-house by Denca’s own software engineers), we were able to ensure everyone stayed up to date. Furthermore, notification of the inevitable changes in the project scope as it moved forward were communicated across the team without delay.
This streamlined approach was highlighted as a key factor to the success of the project.
Control panels – designed & built in-house
The project specification necessitated the design and build of a customised control system. As a first step, the Denca team completed the control panel design in a timely and efficient manner with system tests submitted to confirm that the plans met all the necessary regulatory requirements.
As soon as we received approval of the design, we started the panel-build process. This became one of the biggest headaches across the whole project as we ran into material supply issues. Some core components were in short supply and on back-order. Again, the Denca ‘one-stop-shop’ approach demonstrated its value. We were able to flexibly reallocate resources to other areas of the project. This minimised the impact of the delay. Consequently, we were able to still deliver in a timely manner.
Above all, the new control system was designed, built, tested and installed to our customer’s requirements.
Project Benefit Review
We were especially proud of our team of software engineers on the project. They had to deal with many issues, both technical and organisational. When one of the team had to withdraw for personal reasons at a critical point in the project, the range and experience of his colleagues meant this potential problem was avoided with the seamless introduction of a new engineer to the software team.
Denca has consistently invested in the development of its software capabilities over the past 25 years. As a result, we now have an extremely capable team of 15 developers. The breadth of their expertise meant the change in personnel did not impact either our customer or the project.
We would like our customer to have the last word…
"The project demanded a tight timeline and things did shift a few times along the way. The Denca team was flexible and easy to work with. Importantly, they were readily available when we needed to discuss things. They gave us good support all the way through the project. Yes, we would definitely work with Denca again in the future.”
We appreciate these kind words and look forward to working closely with them going forward.
If you wish to discuss how Denca Controls and our ‘one-stop-shop’ approach can help find a solution for your project, please contact us.