How Bürkert is supporting system integrators
System integrators often play an important role in redefining process control systems, specifying new components and carrying out the installation and commissioning. PIF spoke to Neil Saunders, General Manager at Bürkert UK & Ireland, to find out how cooperative support from an experienced equipment manufacturer like Bürkert can make a system integrator’s life easier.
Bürkert supports system integrators
System integrators are frequently faced with the challenge of matching the most appropriate products with the customers’ existing infrastructure and making it all work together within a defined budget. This is no small task and very often the window of opportunity to install and commission the new equipment can be quite limited.
It is therefore fair to assume that system integrators welcome support from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), especially when it comes with industry expertise, as well as a flexible approach to system design. Many manufacturers will claim to offer this, but how far does that promise hold good?
There will often be a number of possible solutions to a problem, but finding the one that meets the customer’s objectives as well as a timely installation can be slightly more difficult. It is at this point that manufacturers, such as Bürkert, come to the fore; capable of putting together dedicated project teams for larger installations or providing expert advice and components for smaller projects.
From specification advice right through to designing and manufacturing a bespoke product or assembly for an individual application. For example, components and systems operating in potentially explosive atmospheres must be suitably tested and certified as safe for such an environment using the ATEX and IECEx standards. This is an area that requires considerable expertise and design knowledge in order to deliver a packaged solution that is tested and guaranteed to operate safely once installed.
Flexible system integration solutions
Flexibility is the key to providing the most appropriate level of service and a diverse range of high-quality products, coupled with extensive design and manufacturing expertise, makes Bürkert a valuable asset when delivering modifications to a process control system. In situations where time is a restricting factor, a considerable amount of pre-assembly can be completed off-site, while precision drawings and meticulous planning make sure that all the new components work seamlessly with the existing infrastructure.
Typically, the system integration of new processes and equipment is a one-off task and is unlikely to be repeated across multiple sites, which eliminates those manufacturers that are involved only in large volume projects.
The modular nature of many automation solutions makes them ideal for those looking to expand on a pre-existing installation. Provided the communication protocols are maintained it is relatively easy to install standalone control systems based on a centralised control concept, that contains all of the necessary components to operate valves, including a PLC, input/output systems and valve islands.
Efficient device integration platform (EDIP)
Of course, communication of vital data between sensors, valves and the input/output modules is essential and this data also needs to be available to the wider process control centre. This raises the subject of Industry 4.0 and also highlights the issue of communications protocols and how they can be harmonised to ensure seamless data transmission.
By way of an example, Bürkert has developed its efficient device integration platform (EDIP), which is a concept that enables intelligent networking down to the sensor and actuator level. This protocol combines and standardises the hardware, software and communication of Bürkert products. Communication between the EDIP devices takes place using an interface based on the industry standard CANopen with additional features.
Projects that need the expertise of system integrators will usually benefit from the design capabilities and industry expertise of specialist manufacturers. By taking advantage of their knowledge and experience, projects can be optimised both in terms of installation time as well as overall performance.
Burkert manufactures over 100,000 different products, typically valves, actuators, sensors, controllers and combined devices. Applying these products to scenarios that require specialist assemblies requires skill and experience as well as an imaginative approach.
For more information about Bürkert’s system integration solutions, please contact Bürkert today.
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