Front-End Design Specification

When installing a new control system, upgrading an existing platform, or migrating to a new platform, Front-End design activities are critical to the success of a project. Depending on which academic study you read, it has been proven that up to 80% of project issues can be traced back to the Front-End design phase. Preliminary design tasks provide the underlying support principles to which the remainder of the project is carried out. Over the years Cross Company has developed a proven project development process that outlines how to budget, design, execute, and deploy large scale complex Industrial Control System (ICS) projects. Our Front-End consulting services include but are not limited to the following deliverables:

Basis Of Design (BOD) 

A Basis Of Design (BOD) document defines the foundation to which a control system will be designed to meet the objectives. This document can be used for preliminary bidding purposes to ensure the base objectives are met. The more details and a specific quantity of items that are incorporated into the BOD will result in more accurate preliminary costs.

User Requirement Specification (URS)

A User Requirement Specification (URS) document is utilized in the validation process to ensure the end-user clearly defines the control system requirement objectives for the associated project. This typically includes, but is not limited to, the system hardware/software, utility requirements, data collection and reporting, level of operational automation, and system security requirements, as well as the material of constructions and area classification requirements. This document is utilized as the foundation for the vendor and/or system integrator to identify solutions to meet the defined requirements.

Functional Design Specification (FDS)

The purpose of the Functional Design Specification (FDS) is to determine how the requirements defined within the URS or BOD will be satisfied. This document provides specific solutions for the hardware, software, and engineering deliverables that are necessary to meet the requirements outlined in the previous documents. The information included can provide a specific level of detail in an effort to allow vendors and/or system integrators to provide a very accurate cost estimate.

System Migration Specification (SMS)

A System Migration Specification (SMS) incorporates everything that is within an FDS document but it also includes a plan to how the system will be implemented. Essentially, this document provides an overall roadmap showing how an existing control system is to be upgraded or replaced with a new platform. Downtime of the production system is typically a major focus to ensure a minimal amount of loss in production time. This document will identify specific cut-over strategies to ensure the activities are well planned in an effort to minimize the associated risks.

System Requirement Specification (SRS) with a Compatibility Matrix

The System Requirement Specification (SRS) document helps end-users select the correct control system to meet their specific needs. Developing the SRS is a process within itself that may incorporate procurement, IT, maintenance, and engineering departments to ensure all requirements are clearly identified. This typically involves site visits and interviews to identify the site-specific needs. Once the requirements are defined, a compatibility matrix is developed to provide a qualitative and quantitative assessment to identify which of the pre-selected group of system best suits the end-users specific needs.

Proper planning, design, and implementation experience are critical to delivering a successful control system project. The Front-End deliverables listed above provide the foundation for successful projects. Join multiple large industrial manufacturers around the globe and partner with Cross Company to leverage their proven development process, as well the talented group of control system professionals. It is our goal to provide every customer with a cost-effective solution, on time, every time.

Cross Company Process Control Integration Project Phases

Over the course of implementing thousands of applications, Cross Company has developed a proven methodology for successful implementation of process control projects. We know the key to a successful project is a thorough understanding of the requirements - from existing conditions to end goals.

Our process utilizes information gathering, system auditing, documentation review, and detailed interviews to develop a document that defines the end requirements and the roadmap to achieve them.

Types of Specification Documents

  • User Requirement Specification - Describes what users require from the System. User requirement specifications are written early in the validation process, typically before the system is created
  • Functional Requirements Specification - Defines the capabilities and functions that a control system must be able to perform successfully.
  • Design Specification - Describes how a control system performs the requirements outlined in the Functional Requirements Specification. This is typically a very detailed document that defines all control loops and programming needs from a software standpoint. Typically it includes interlocks, automated logic and control details for every device connected to the control system.
  • Batch Specification – If an S88 batch model is used this document would define the physical model and procedural model, which in-turn derives the control model.  From this information, the entire recipe, equipment modules phases, and operations can be defined.