For nearly a decade, our UL508A approved Panel Shop located in Indianapolis, IN has been fabricating a variety of Main Control, Extended I/O, and Relay panels for a diverse customer base. Our traditional hardware and software platforms have primarily been Rockwell and DeltaV, driven by our U.S.-based pharma and water/wastewater clients, but our recent embarkment into the Food & Beverage sector has challenged us to diverge from “the norm”.
Complementing what we have seen in some industry trends for pharma and medical device, F&B companies also heavily utilize ABB, GE, and Siemens controls systems for many of their internationally based manufacturing facilities. If we wanted to gain a new customer base and expand our current skill sets, we knew that we had to educate ourselves and prove expertise on some or all these platforms and take on a difficult project, and we did just that! We recently invested in a Siemens Simatic HMI/PLC back panel to add a new branch to our Demo Room in our Indy office.
This simulation center has provided hands-on training and education on new hardware, programming and logic techniques, safety standards, and governing regulations (CE) for our Automation and Panel Fabrication teams.
Our newly acquired skills helped prepare us for our biggest Siemens project to date for our U.S. office: a dozen Siemens control and remote I/O panels built for a new customer based in the Chicagoland area. These panels are controlling a large popcorn manufacturing line (cheddar and caramel, yum!) that will be deployed internationally in Algeria. We were able to successfully drive design development, panel fabrication, commissioning, FAT execution at the OEM site in July, with full deployment and SAT scheduled for Fall 2018 at the end customer site.
Knowing that this project would be a challenge for our office was an understatement, the aggressive timelines and steep learning curves required a huge team effort, but it was well worth the cost of investment.
While we historically have had experience with numerous international control platforms (i.e. ABB, Omron, GE, and Siemens), taking on this new client has garnered the capabilities to fully design, program, commission, and deploy any Siemens-based control system.
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Chris Sormalis, Business Development Leader at PACIV USA, has over 15 years of experience within the Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device industries. Chris has worked as Project Team Leader and Automation/Validation Engineer for multiple automation and CSV projects. Chris has experience with multiple control platforms such as AB PLCs, CLx and DeltaV with significant experience in the complete System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and its CSV deliverables. He has thorough knowledge and experience in the Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device industries’ technologies, processes and systems.
LinkedIn: Chris Sormalis