A Practitioner's Perspective on ETA Project Delivery
"The performance objectives of NBE mechanical design and engineering are as tangible as the build specs and materials of construction."
The mechanical engineering characteristics that distinguish NBE projects are very visible, and very tangible. NBE build specs and materials of construction are dominant within the market; that's easy to see with one look at any NBE project. NBE build specs and materials of construction are not for everyone; we know that, and so do our competitors.
The performance objectives of NBE mechanical design and engineering are as tangible as the build specs and materials of construction. The primary objective is to ensure NBE projects bring optimal performance; from lead times, to rate and accuracy targets, and after-sale support. Of course, optimal performance cannot happen unless we meet our first objective of safety. We must design for the safety of those people interacting with NBE projects; regardless of whether they're interacting with our equipment during operation, during maintenance, or during cleaning.
Engineering Built on Shared Knowledge; Cooperation Built on Shared Experience
We engineer to the complete context of the processing application. NBE projects may be engineered to fulfill the requirements of a complete processing plant; from input to end-of-line. Or, NBE projects may be engineered to provide processing operations within a larger, multi-party integration. In either case, project delivery, for NBE, is not unloading a crate at a ‘ship-to address' and hoping for the best. Our hands-on relationships in the AEC, integrator, and consulting engineering communities have been built on cooperation and shared knowledge. It's the benefit of the combined strength of NBE application engineering and mechanical engineering.
Leveraging Machine Automation Performance Through Mechanical Design
NBE automation and controls engineering is what leverages the performance from the mechanical design of an NBE project. NBE mechanical engineering, and automation engineering occur concurrently during the design phase of a project. This consolidated, agile engineering method produces, what can be best describes as a process-specific, paired mechanical framework and controls architecture. The NBE integrated infrastructure provides the basis for automation performance advantages including: project-wide, standardized HMIs; smart machine-sourced safety and maintenance conditions monitoring; and comprehensive performance reporting. This goes far beyond that of the separate islands of equipment common from build-to-order, bolt-together, equipment builders.
Giving Voice to Project Management Objectives and Engineering Requirements
NBE projects are engineered to the unique requirements of each application. So, it's not uncommon, between the end-customer, any third-parties, or NBE, that no two projects have been exactly the same. It's those application anomalies, and engineering complexities, that are the norm for the NBE project management group. As NBE PMs manage the scope, costs, and timelines associated with every aspect of a project, it's clear NBE PMs are the voice of the project's performance requirements. NBE PMs are also the ally of the customer's objectives. And, when all is said and done, those are the means to the best, collective outcomes for the ultimate performance of the project.
Advanced Project Fabrication and Assembly Strategies Aid Engineering Contributions
There can hardly be an absolute separation made between NBE mechanical engineering and NBE fabrication and assembly. They are obviously different practice areas, but NBE fabrication and assembly is not a place for passive translation from plans into projects of dimensions and materials, and parts and components. NBE production staff, even before the mechanical design stage, have, on multiple occasions, done project site visits. NBE production staff take an active role in contributing toward our customer's process performance. They have identified DFM efficiencies, shortened lead times, and even assisted in support of application engineering functions.
Operational Effectiveness and the Roles of Engineering and Customer Service
There seems to be so much conversation among OEMs about FATs, SATs, and start-ups and commissioning. As if, at the point of turnover, the work of the OEM is finished. NBE mechanical engineering staff, together with the NBE customer service and quality assurance team, recognize the necessity of FATs and so on. But, our engineering and customer service conversations go beyond that to address the operational effectiveness of NBE projects; two-, five-, maybe 10-years into their lifecycle. NBE FATs, SATs, start-ups, and every service support event; whether by phone, remote login, or, in-person, are not finish points for NBE. These are additional points of knowledge; a continuous improvement feedback loop, to ensure even greater process performance of future NBE projects.