Our DNA is rooted in system integration – linking disparate equipment and systems to provide a single coherent control system and user interface. AIS specialises in making things work together and taking the responsibility for doing so.
Within this remit we deliver a range of services, each focussed on meeting our clients’ specific requirements.
Understanding and expressing the business need
User interface design to identify requirements and provide visualisations
That detail the how systems will operate and meet requirements
To identify the nuts and bolts of the system – to meet the requirements of a RIBA 5 design package.
SCADA & Software Development
Wherever possible we base the systems we develop on standard, well proven software products. In particular, we are a Siemens Solution Partner and use many of their standard hardware and software products – although we are not limited by them.
We have also written and support our own SCADA toolset – SFW – which we tend to use for high speed data applications and specialist system development that involves a significant element of bespoke requirements.
SCADA software is the primary tool for system integration and we have extensive experience of writing interface software as well as developing networks to link systems, acquire the required data and provide the necessary control.
Our approvals demonstrate the quality of our software development facility – as we are certified under the TickITplus programme of IT excellence – learn more about TickITplus.
Software Safety Plan
Reliability Assessments and Reports
Safety User Interface prototyping – using ‘Teach Back’
Safety System Maintenance – maintaining the safety rating – see the Maintenance section below.
M & E Hardware Design & Build
Wherever there is software, there is hardware too. AIS can take responsibility for designing the equipment and electrical distribution panels and installing them prior to commissioning. We work with a number of specialist sub-contractors who install equipment – both electrically and mechanically – including power and signal cabling, to the field equipment.
System Integration & Construction Design
If software is the primary tool of system integration, then specification, procurement and sub-contract management are the core functions that will deliver integrated systems.
AIS can operate as the systems integrator and manage the entire project from specification through development to delivery and maintenance. Equally, where there is a requirement to bring together different equipment suppliers and sub-contractors, we can also adopt the role of either Principal Designer and / or Principal Contractor.
Safety Maintenance is worth a special mention because experience shows that safety systems once delivered do not maintain the SIL rating if they are not properly maintained. This includes human operators as well.
It isn’t enough to assume a safety system is working and to only attend to it if it reports a fault or an alarm. Maintaining a safety system means proving positively that it is operational. Regular end to end functional testing is required and AIS works with the system users to ensure this happens and regularly audits to ensure tests are being completed.
Persistent alarms and faults on the systems are neither accepted nor acceptable. They lead to complacency over time and can mask real problems. The root cause of the alarm or fault is determined and a plan of action to resolve the issue is put in place. Regular maintenance meetings are held to progress the action plan – a programme of continuous review – and where possible, improvement.