Engineering Services

Proposals

Our engineering staff has proven record of writing and implementing proposals. In a turnkey environment, our engineers can evaluate a client's existing system and prepare a technical proposal to improve or update the existing technology. With our client's assistance, we can develop a working proposal that will meet the client's technical needs and budget requirements.

System Design and Integration

The system design phase of any project involves conceptualizing and specifying a system solution. To design and implement an effective solution it is necessary to have seamless interaction among a team of individuals whose combined experience includes an in-depth understanding of the process, the technical aspects of the system, the environment in which the system will be used, and the technology being applied to the problem... Read more

To facilitate this, our engineers are experienced in developing:

  • Wiring and fabrication drawings
  • Loop diagrams
  • Interconnect diagrams
  • Point-to-point drawings

All wiring and fabrication drawings conform to UL rules and regulations; all loop interconnect diagrams conform to ISA standards. In addition, all drawings are drafted on workstations using the latest version of AutoCAD. We also provide system configuration; detail design drawings; systems integration; programming; and equipment specifications, including field and communication devices.

Calibration

Our engineering staff is equipped with test equipment with the latest certification and calibration accuracy. We calibrate all field instruments, from pressure switches to ultrasonic flow meters. Our calibration methods range from the pneumatic hand pumps and pressure modules to the new SMART technology and Hart protocol. In either instance, we document and use the "five-point" criteria to ensure all instruments are fully calibrated and validated.

Programming

Soffa Electric has a wide variety of experience in programming software. We have programmed all major programmable logic controllers and RTUs. As a standard, our ladder logic is completely documented. We use symbols and descriptions on I/O points and other intermediate coils used. All rungs are documented with complete English sentences to aid in the documentation... Read more

We have programmed various operator interfaces, including:

  • Allen Bradley's Panel View
  • Modicon's Panel Mate
  • Siemen's OP7
  • Telemetry/SCADA

Soffa Electric has extensive experience in programming Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. Our HMI experience includes:

  • An Invensys Company
  • Formerly FactoryLink a Siemens product

In conjunction with the HMI, we have used the Oracle, Sybase, and Dbase IV database applications to facilitate data logging. We are experienced in various protocols, including:

  • Modbus
  • Modbus Plus
  • Data Highway Plus
  • Tiway
  • Profibus

The systems we have designed and implemented include the multi-drop and point-to-point configurations. At the front-end we have programmed and configured workstations to behave as stand-alones and also as redundant hot back ups. Using off the shelf software such as Excel and Access, we have programmed custom reporting utilizing the historical database. Reports can be configured as automatically or manually generated. Each report can also be automatically or manually saved and/or printed.

Networking Experience

Soffa Electric has successfully implemented many local area networks (LAN) and wide area networks (WAN). We are experienced in both the "bus" and "star" topologies in Profibus and Ethernet networks... Read more

Soffa Electric has installed and configured networks using:

  • 10Bse2 (ThinNet)
  • 10Base-T (Twisted Pair)
  • 100Base-T (Fast Ethernet)
  • 10Base-FL (Fiber Optics)

PROFIBUS is an open field bus solution for factory and process automation based on IEC 61158. PROFIBUS is supported and developed by PROFIBUS International. In the United States, the PROFIBUS Trade Organization (PTO) represents PROFIBUS International.

PROFIBUS Benefits

  • Vendor independent with the biggest 3rd party vendor support worldwide
  • Most flexible field bus network, providing fast and reliable data exchange and built-in diagnostic capabilities
  • Different transmission media - electrical and fiber optic networks as well as wireless
  • A stable but not static technology moving forward while responding to customer requirements without losing its compatibility

Ethernet networks have moved from the office environment to the production floor. From Process automation to discrete applications, to front office reporting, Industrial Ethernet is the one line that can connect the entire company.

Ethernet Benefits

  • Fast start-up times thanks to the simplest connection tools
  • High availability, because existing plants can be expanded without any downtime
  • Extremely flexible communications performance due to the scalable performance that is available with switching networks
  • Networking of different application areas, such as the office and the factory floor

MODBUS/TCP

MODBUS/TCP is a variant of the MODBUS family of simple, vendor-neutral communication protocols intended for supervision and control of automation equipment. Specifically, it covers the use of MODBUS messaging in an 'Intranet' or 'Internet' environment using the TCP/IP protocols. The most common use of the protocols at this time is for Ethernet attachment of PLC's, I/O modules, and 'gateways' to other simple field buses or I/O networks.

The MODBUS/TCP protocol is being published as a ('de-facto') automation standard. Since MODBUS is already widely known, there should be little information in this document which could not be obtained elsewhere. However, an attempt has been made to clarify which functions within MODBUS have value for interoperability of general automation equipment, and which parts are 'baggage' from the alternate use of MODBUS as a programming protocol for PLC's.

This is done below by grouping supported message types into 'conformance classes' which differentiate between those messages which are universally implemented and those which are optional, particularly those specific to devices such as PLC's.

Our broad range of experience allows us to help clients customize a solution that is right for them. Soffa Electric is not dependent on any single vendor or manufacturer; we specialize in a variety of networking products, including:

  • 3Com
  • Motorola
  • Adtran
  • US Robotics

Soffa Electric has also configured LAN for Remote Access. to establish a temporary connection from the remote user, we have successfully employed a method using Windows Remote Access Server over the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) on a dial-up line.

Communications

Soffa Electric has been actively working in this area. The multi-drop and point-to-point configuration that we have successfully implemented have used a variety of communications medium to connect them... Read more

We have used:

  • Telephone lines
  • Radio
  • Wireless
  • Twisted Pair

The telephone lines have been both analog and digital. We have experience with modem such as:

  • Analog
  • CSU/DSU
  • FRAD

In systems where telephone lines are not practical, we have used spread spectrum radio technology to communicate with the sites. We can furnish radio studies, using the latest in Global Positioning System (GPS) to give our clients an indication of whether radios are right for them. We can also furnish radio studies using actual radios and antennas to measure radio strengths at each site. We have been successful with radio manufacturers such as:

  • Metrocom
  • MDS
  • Alligator

For short distances, we have also implemented wireless Ethernet to connect various sites.

To improve your facility's operations, please contact the experienced staff at Soffa Electric today.