Designing & Programming

Designing
Future Progress

Control panel design involves creating hardware that interfaces with your facility’s equipment, and control system software enables the hardware to function correctly. Ideal control system design and programming, coupled with the right equipment, improves quality, safety, and efficiency, and enhances your business’s procedures and productivity.

What We Do

Before formal commissioning, we develop an organized plan for commissioning that meets your needs. Then, our Field Technicians, Electrical Engineers, and Control Engineers perform pre-commissioning activities for electrical and mechanical systems and Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT). During commissioning, we confirm that your electrical and mechanical equipment works together as a system under the automation program. These thorough checks ensure that our automation solutions will properly control your facility’s processes before start-up.

Custom Machinery

Custom machinery allows you to enhance your goals and have complete control over your system. We develop mechanical designs for custom automation equipment and machines, and then build them for you. We work with you to create a document that states what you need a custom machine to do. We then put our team of Mechanical and Electrical Design Engineers on the task of developing a proof of concept. This could include anything from basic design drawings to computer simulations of how the machine will function. Additionally, we can test design ideas in our shop using robots, smart cameras, 3D printed parts, and other test equipment.

We use machine design and simulation software, including SolidWorks, AutoCAD Inventor, and Visual Components. With Visual Components, we import our own design elements, add in robots and PLC code, and visually show your custom machine going through its paces. With the help of our innovative technology, you can feel confident that your solution is viable and meets your needs before buildout.

Control Panels

Automation control panels house electronic devices which send signals that control equipment and machines. We design the control panels using the hardware you specify. Our intent is to utilize items you already have in your facility to minimize the learning curve and impact on inventory.

We strictly follow industry standards when designing control panels, including National Electric Code (NEC) and National Fire and Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines. Additionally, our panels follow Universal Laboratories (UL) standards, ensuring that all circuits have proper short circuit protection.

We build control panels with well-designed layouts that leave room between hardware for adequate heat dissipation and future upgrades. We isolate each main component with an individual circuit breaker to prevent one component from shutting down the entire system.

Control Programming

Control programming involves coding instructions that specify how an automated system and its components should act to accomplish desired outcomes.

Based on your needs and abilities, we develop unique and robust control programs for PLC and DCS. For instance, if you only know ladder logic programming, we would only use ladder logic for your project.

Alternatively, if you have existing programming standards that work
well, we follow them. If we discover the need to expand or develop
new standards, we work with you to find the best solution. We are
with you at every step!

HMI/SCADA/MES Programming

In system programming, like control programming, instructions are coded that determine how an automated system should function to achieve desired results. We meticulously design and develop HMI, SCADA, and MES programs that follow your requirements and industry guidelines (i.e., minimal use of colors for “normal” conditions, simple but informative displays, etc.).

We incorporate Standardized Alarming, which prioritizes alarms into low, medium, high, and urgent alarm levels. Each grouping of alarms is made a different color and sorted by urgency, ensuring that the most critical alarms are at the top of the list.

Our easy-to-read HMI designs give your staff the information they need to solve routine issues quickly.

- Frequently Asked Questions

Designing & Programming FAQs

As early in the project as possible. A thoughtfully designed system and the programming to support it are necessary for a seamless and profitable business operation. Getting engineers like Trace Automation involved early in project discussions ensures proper guidance on the system’s overall design and sets the system up for optimal performance in the future.

We discuss the style of programming (i.e., ladder logic, structured text, company-specific standards, etc.) that you prefer, and design the program based on those specifications. We then break down and organize the project into multiple programs and routines to provide order to the programming and make it easier for your staff to read and troubleshoot.

Ready to Automate Your Business?

Introduce yourself! Tell us about your facility and what problems you need us to solve.
Give us the controls—we’ll exceed your goals!