Patti Engineering Tips on Automation Projects

Experienced Engineers Share Tips to Minimize Downtime When Implementing an Automation Project

Big or small, automation projects can slide off course with budget overruns, unanticipated technical glitches, miscommunications, and/or unwelcome downtime and delays. So, how does one avoid the unwanted project pitfalls?

In our last blog post, Patti Engineering’s Vice President of Operations, Ken Kutchek, gives our readers the top ten attributes of a “good” plan. Armed with 17 years of lessons learned through overseeing project execution,  Ken shared his knowledge on this topic. To supplement Ken’s article, we also polled our engineers for feedback; we think you will find their responses insightful as well.

A group of Patti Engineering engineers were polled on what they would advise to be the most important factors in terms of minimizing downtime and completing deployment/implementation for an automation project, we heard that the following are all critical factors in the process:

  • Adequate site and system access
  • Clearly defined goals and benchmarks for success
  • Clear communications of the project scope, timing, objective and possible hurdles
  • Complete system scope
  • Customer management (expectations, involvement, deliverables, etc.)
  • Detailed functional specification
  • Extensive up front preparation and testing
  • Meticulous planning
  • Ongoing communication with customer and team
  • Proper assessment, i.e. ensuring all possible variables are accounted for, maintaining an open dialog with the customer through all aspects of the project: conception, development, installation and follow-up
  • Rigorous software and system testing before going onsite
  • Skilled and experienced controls engineers
  • Systematic execution
  • Thorough planning and project management
  • Thorough testing and verification

Feel free to use this list of tips as a checklist for your next automation project – it’s our intellectual property that we are happy to share with our community.

We work as a trusted resource to our clients. If you need an expert to help solve automation challenges, we are here to add value to your solution. For a free initial consultation, call us at (248)364-3200 or fill out our contact form, and we will be happy to help!



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Terrance Brinkley's Bio

Michigan Director of Operations

With a natural affinity for control systems integration, Terrance Brinkley has been an asset to Patti Engineering since 2004 and now leads his team as the Director of Michigan Operations. A native of Pontiac, Michigan, Terrance graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in both Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering.