Design, Programming, Start Up

Diagram showing the 5 Life-Cycle steps of the Automation Engineering ProjectAs a single-source Design-Build engineering and construction company, Shambaugh can take complete responsibility for each phase of your automation project, implementing a range of automation strategies and helping you identify what technology best fits your system.

Needs Assessment

Each automation engineering project begins with a comprehensive needs assessment, during which we rigorously evaluate your facility and systems in order to determine the most appropriate steps to take to move forward.

Our automation engineering experts visit client facilities to analyze existing processes and identify their current level of plant automation. During these visits, we perform engineering surveys and use the data to prepare cost-effective automation strategies.

Automation Strategies

  • Control system design—programmable logic controls (PLCs), human machine interfaces (HMIs)
  • Software development
  • Custom control panel design and assembly
  • Electrical and pneumatic system installation
  • System validation, calibration, start up, and commissioning
  • Operator and maintenance personnel training

System Design

  • Process definition
  • Instrumentation selection and specification
  • PLC and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) platform definition
  • Input/Output (I/O) spreadsheet creation
  • Process network and control panel designing
  • Functional descriptions developed with food process and mechanical groups


  • Definition of hardware
  • Server and thin client setup
  • Code development and synchronization with functional descriptions
  • Simulation logic creation and testing before implementation

Start Up

  • Power and PLC/HMI communications check
  • Air pressure adjustment and modulation
  • Instrumentation optimization to match process values
  • I/O dry functionality point checks
  • Process simulation with water prior to commissioning on product
  • Virtually flawless deliverables across the board, from control panels to HMIs
  • Equipment checks against area ratings and regulatory requirements

During the start-up phase, Shambaugh works directly with clients and their operational staff on commissioning to help ensure a smooth transition to production. In order to help guarantee the quality and integrity of our projects, we always work directly with clients and never subcontract any element of execution.