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Main Automation / Electrical

Contractor Approach of ABB

Leveraging Expertise to Achieve
Flawless Project Execution

ABB White Paper Series

Main Automation/Electrical
Contractor Approach of ABB
Leveraging Expertise to Achieve Flawless Project Execution
by Mike Connolly & Josh Caglar, ABB Inc., Houston

Introduction This EPC approach is distinguished from the tradi-

tional vendor/supplier role in three significant ways:
As the pace of technology development increases • The scope of supply involves services and sup-
and the demand for increased plant efficiency and ply of product(s), with the emphasis on the ability
improved power consumption drives the design of to provide the services element. The scope of
industrial facilities, manufacturers and plant opera- work requires participation of the MAC/MEC
tors are turning to automation and electrical product throughout the full project lifecycle, from Front
developers to provide industrial solutions that meet End Engineering and Design (FEED) to comple-
the technical and execution requirements of these tions and start-up.
complex facilities. • The work requires significant coordination
and information exchange between multiple
This approach moves the product developers from project participants.
their traditional role of vendor/equipment suppli- • The MAC/MEC is responsible for coordination of
er providing equipment to a customer developed the overall system(s) and manages the inter-
specification to that of an independent contractor faces to facilitate integration.
performing the role of an Engineering, Procurement
and Construction (EPC) contractor providing engi- There are also significant differences from a proj-
neered solutions. ABB defines this role as that of a Main ect execution perspective where these types of
Automation Contractor (MAC) or Main Electrical Con- projects involve multiple participants including pro-
tractor (MEC). In making the transition from “vendor” cess designers, construction contractors, utility
to “contractor,” the MAC/MEC is required to adopt providers, regulatory authorities and government
a more proactive approach during the
Main Electrical Contractor
execution of
Main Automation Contractor agencies. First, the scope of work is broader than a
the work. This requires
(MEC) close cooperation with the
(MAC) conventional vendor/supplier scope and is focused
client organization and other contractors and sup- on the overall solution and not the product(s) that
pliers to develop best in class solutions, implement provide the solution. Second, it requires participa-
those solutions across the facilities and manage the tion in the front end engineering and design (FEED)
interfaces with other participants to ensure effective phase where the MAC/MEC works closely with the
integration of all components and systems. customer and overall plant designer(s) to develop
the system concept and basic operational specifi-
cations. Third, once the project moves
Broad Product Line for An integrated Scope into the full execution phase, the MAC/
MEC has the responsibility, in addition
to providing the product solution, to pro-
vide coordination and interface between
HV & MV LV Industrial IT Smart ting / the major EPC contractors to ensure the
Power Power MCC’s Drives Motors Automation Systems Telecoms
Field Analyzers HAZOP concepts and requirements developed
Dist. Dist. Instr. / SIP /
Solutions HSE during the FEED phase are implemented
effectively and the design standardization
Main Electrical Contractor Main Automation Contractor
is achieved across the facilities. Fourth,
the MAC/MEC provides the product
solution utilizing its products in combina-
tion with third party supplied products,
integrates these with the process and
FLAWLESS PROJECT EXECUTION utility equipment provided by the EPC
• Risk management • Greater operability contractor(s) and assists with the instal-
• Lower project cycle costs • Lower training costs
• integrated technology • Ease of life cycle maintenance lation of the completed system(s) under
the direction of the EPC contractor(s).
Finally, the MAC/MEC has responsibility

HV & MV LV Industrial IT Smart ting /
ABB White Paper Series

to work under the direction of the EPC

contractor(s) at the construction site(s) to • Project Management
achieve final commissioning and start-up • Engineering Design
• Procurement Execution
of the facilities. • Configuration/Integration Capability
• Start-up
• Commissioning
As a global leader in the design and • Training
• After Market Services
supply of Process Automation and
Power Systems for a broad range of MAC/MEC
industries, ABB has easily made this
transition from main product vendor to PRODUCTS
overall solutions provider. Leveraging our • Process Control System
• Instrumentation & Analytics
expertise around the globe, ABB has • Fire & Gas Systems Technical
developed the “Book of MAC/MEC,” • Power Products
• Electrification Systems Capability
a robust project execution methodol- • Networking
• Telecommunications
ogy which combined with extensive
product and industry knowledge provides
customers with a level of service not avail-
able from the traditional EPC contractors(s).
Project Execution v Detailed Design, Engineering and Manufacture
v Construction/Installation
Our execution methodology is based on mod- v Completions and Closeout
ern project management techniques supported
by well trained and qualified professional re-
sources, proven systems and tools. The focus FEED Participation
of our approach is ensuring the project scope is Early involvement in the development stage of a
well defined at the outset, the work is planned well project has a tremendous impact on overall effec-
in advance of execution activities, execution re- tiveness of the final selected solutions. The long
sponsibilities are identified and agreed between all term benefits achieved by “getting it right” early in
participants and detailed project specific plans the project yields results in total cost of ownership
covering all aspects of the work are established, savings.
implemented and followed.
The MAC/MEC participation in the FEED phase of
To support the project management process, ABB the project lays the foundation for the development
has developed the MAC/MEC Project Execution of a best in class solution for the project. The FEED
Map. The map outlines the structure and scope of phase has two basic elements: a technical aspect
a typical Automation or Electrification project from and a work process aspect. Working in coopera-
the FEED phase through to completions and ac- tion with the plant owner and process designer(s) the
ceptance. The map provides information on the ABB organization utilizes its unique combination of
primary execution processes and the various project technical expertise and detailed product knowledge
plans needed to support flawless execution during to provide the technical concept definition, project
the various project phases. The map portrays the standards, common functional design criteria and
relationships between the internal execution pro- generic equipment specifications. The FEED phase
cesses of the customer, MAC/MEC and the EPC is also the period when the management systems
contractor(s) and how these processes interact and and specific project plans to be employed during
integrate in order to achieve a common approach for project execution are defined and developed. Each
project execution. The map also indicates the high organization (owner, designer(s) and ABB) has its
level technical interface points that exist between own internal standards and requirements for execut-
the MAC/MEC and the EPC contractor(s) during ing its work. These internal processes reflect the
each major project phase. The map depicts the four basic tenets of the respective organizations and are
main project phases: the foundation for how each approaches the various
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execution phases. A balance between the project

specific requirements and the basic work process- Interface Management is just one of a full suite of
es of each of the participants must be achieved. processes employed by ABB in the overall execu-
Basic integration of the respective work processes tion model. The processes have been developed
must also be achieved to make transfer of critical as a result of participation in major projects around
engineering data and documentation possible. This the globe covering a wide variety of customers and
integration of work processes and establishing a industrial sectors. These processes are the founda-
common approach to execution are key elements in tion of flawless execution. They are based on the
achieving flawless execution. To facilitate this ABB premise that the work to be performed is fully de-
utilizes the Interface Management process. fined and responsibilities for execution are agreed
and allocated. Goals and objectives for success
Interface Management are established and strategies developed to achieve
success. The strategies form the guidelines for
Interface Management is one of the most critical action planning. Creation of the detailed plans, im-
processes in achieving flawless project execution. plementation of the plans and constant monitoring
Interface Management involves identifying and con- of actual performance towards achieving the defined
trolling the flow of critical information between major objectives are the keys to successful execution.
project participants. For complex industrial projects
there are multiple project participants each of whom The ABB execution model has been developed
will require data (technical, schedule etc.) from other using project management best practices and is
participants in order to perform its work and/or pos- implemented globally. The model structure is very
sess data that is needed by the other participants in flexible, allowing its elements to be tailored to re-
order for those organizations to perform their work. flect local practices, local regulations and regional
The timely identification, development and exchange variations in approach while maintaining a common
of this data is crucial to project success and the in- execution framework. This provides ABB with the
terface management process facilitates this through ability to execute on a truly global basis making full
early identification of the data required and estab- use of our regional centers of excellence, high value
lishing formal agreements between the supplier engineering centers and global execution centers. It
and receiver indicating the specifics of what data is also provides a common execution language, allow-
required and the required timing for delivery. ing ABB to make full use of its global resource pool
to match the “on demand” resource requirements of
The process utilizes formal, documented interface complex projects.
agreements created between ABB and any of the
other project participants. Agreements are also The ABB execution capability coupled with our
created internally within the various groups of the broad products portfolio, technical expertise and
ABB organization to provide visibility of critical data global manufacturing facilities combine to offer cli-
and information. Each interface agreement has ents a range of project services from concept to
an information owner (the Sender), an information operations, providing predictable and consistent
recipient (the Receiver) and lists the specific infor- results and helping our customers deliver their busi-
mation required and the delivery requirements for ness objectives.
the information. Each interface agreement is given
a unique identification and is logged in the interface
database. The status of all agreements is monitored
and reports produced on a regular basis indicating
the overall status. Constant monitoring highlights
areas of criticality that can be quickly addressed and
brought under control.
© 2007 ABB Inc.
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