Insights for Process Control Success

Alyssa Asplund
March 8, 2024
5 min read


APCO's president and other industry leaders recently presented their insights on control engineering project success, efficiency, and strategies. Continue reading for our key takeaways and click here to see the full presentation. Understanding clients' unique needs is pivotal to project success, guiding tailored solutions and recommendations. With active listening client requirements, engineers can tailor solutions and recommendations that align perfectly with project goals. This understanding serves as the bedrock for highly functional and customized systems. Moreover, open communication and client involvement throughout the project ensures that solutions are aligned with project objectives and constraints.

Client Needs

Before diving into a project, it is crucial to thoroughly understand a clients' needs. Each client, process, and SCADA system has unique goals and challenges. After listening to needs, engineers are positioned to provide solutions and recommendations that lead to the best project outcomes. A thorough understanding is required in order to create a truly tailored and highly functional system. Further, it is just as important to maintain that communication and client involvement throughout the project.

As engineers discuss needs with clients, it is important to take note of objectives and be aware of constraints, such as time or budget, in order to create specifically tailored solutions. Any identified risks should be clearly addressed with the client, and a mitigation plan developed. In this phase, clients will benefit from investments in system evaluations and engineering studies, as this additional information will provide guidance in defining project objectives and needs for optimal project outcomes.

Applying Information and Identifying Opportunity

After gathering information, it is important to take time to analyze it thoughtfully. A thorough analysis will utilize process flow diagrams to visually map out process workflows and identify areas of inefficiency. Visiting with operations managers and operators can provide additional insight into daily processes, and may help identify bottlenecks, an area of particular opportunity.

Some ideas for consideration will include:

  • high volatility, areas where one would ideally want to maintain a consistent average
  • saturation, where the process is working at its highest capacity
  • where downtime occurs frequently
  • areas that do not run according to design expectations, some analysis may be required to understand what's happening in reality vs the design

Compare your analyses with the goals and objectives previously established to align expectations and identify deviations from the project goals. Outline the strategic improvements that should be prioritized while keeping in mind project constraints.

Future of the Industry: Automation Best Practices

Empowering control engineers with specialized tools, automation elevates data analysis and decision-making capabilities. From simulations and digital twins to instrumentation with enhanced accuracy, recent technological advancements offer faster and more cost-effective access to optimization algorithms. These tools furnish invaluable insights, enabling continuous improvement in automation processes.

Moreover, by leveraging these resources, system integrators can meticulously design and accurately plan projects for optimal success. Proactively addressing product obsolescence safeguards against unexpected downtime, a risk that escalates significantly when equipment reaches its end of life. Additionally, prioritizing system safety ensures long-term operational stability and resilience.


Embracing automation best practices empowers engineers to navigate project complexities with confidence, ensuring long-term operational stability and resilience. By embracing automation best practices, engineers are equipped to navigate project complexities with confidence, ensuring long-term operational stability and resilience. Reach out today to explore how modernizing your system can drive efficiency and propel your organization toward success. And be sure to see the entire webcast, presented by Control Engineering Magazine.

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