After several requests from different cities in the Hampton Roads region, we’ve decided to officially start offering E&I (Electrical and Instrumentation) field service. HRA is currently supporting several cities in the Hampton Roads region; we’d like to expand that service to other organizations, public utilities, and any other entities that have a need for 25+ year “Journeyman” level assistance with their Industrial Control Systems.
A Brief History of E&I and HRA
Everyone on our staff started their career as field E&I technicians. In the world of Industrial Automation Engineering and Consulting, it is imperative to have a strong foundation that includes many years of hands-on work with field E&I equipment. The greatest programmer on Earth can’t effectively program a DCS, PLC, and/or a SCADA (Distributed Control System, Programmable Logic Controller, Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition…henceforth referred to as an ICS…Industrial Control System) system without having a working knowledge of the equipment and its inter-connectivity and interrelation to the instrumentation and electrical systems that are part of the ICS. Effective process control is the primary function of an ICS, but without a complete understanding of the field E&I equipment there is the potential for equipment damage and in extreme cases, personnel safety risks.
The members of HRA have all taken the long walk down the path of acquiring the aforementioned skills through long careers within the E&I realm.
Who Are Our Primary Customers?
HRA‘s primary customers are Public Utilities and Engineering firms that serve Public Utilities.
We specialize in:
- Wastewater Treatment
- Drinking Water
- Interceptor Systems
- Pump Stations
- PRS (Pressure Reducing Stations)
- Offline Storage Controls
- Aquifer Injection Systems
- Water Tower Controls
Why Do You Need This Service?
The workforce in America is currently in a state of decline. Highly specialized E&I professionals are very hard to come by. When one is found, they tend to be employed making a great salary, which means that most organizations can’t afford to hire them away from their current employer.
Hiring a full-time employee comes along with several expensive and time-consuming things such as:
- Paying a competitive full-time salary
- The cost of a retirement plan
- Health insurance
- Managing the employee
- Annual leave / Sick leave (PTO)
- Finding a qualified “self-starter” Journeyman to hire
- Liability for the work they perform
- Equipment, tools, Arc Flash PPE, etc.
- Professional development costs
- Potential personnel (Human Resources) issues
- The time it takes to grow an effective employee
There are several benefits of hiring HRA to perform your E&I work. Here are a few:
- You can rest assured that a qualified professional is taking care of your E&I systems.
- If you currently don’t have any E&I staff or have inexperienced staff, you most likely have issues with your control systems that you are presently unaware of. These unknown issues will eventually turn into expensive repairs that could have been avoided.
- HRA can handle your routine instrumentation calibrations (which includes the required documentation for your records, permits, etc.). If you haven’t calibrated your instrumentation in a while, your ICS are most-certainly being fed incorrect data.
- The ability to move from reactive “firefighting” mode to preventative maintenance mode with the occasional unavoidable failure is a HUGE benefit of having dedicated E&I staff.
- Cost savings: it is less expensive to hire HRA to perform your E&I maintenance versus hiring a permanent full-time employee.
If you are interested in this service, please reach out to us via email or our contact form.
Ryan C. Duke, CAP, MSM
Principal Automation Engineer | Vice President of Finance
Hampton Roads Automation