Many people have asked me about the service commissioning. There really curious whether the promised benefits are met and if the investment is justified. Given this reality, I confess them feel happy, because we managed to detect the problem and create a solution.

Germán Alexis H. Cortes *

When end users or the guild of electronic networks (security, communications, audio / video, monitoring, control and Integration) is interested in knowing how to achieve efficiency in their processes, it is because they know they have weaknesses, but we want to correct and then the first step is already in the right direction.

When commissioning service start?
Preferably from the moment of conceptualization of the project. It is like the voice of conscience next project owner. However I recognize that not always have that opportunity. So my suggestion is to hire at the same time that consciousness allows. Even in the final stage of the project (in fact, there is a service called end-commissioning).

What really is the scope?
In this case the range may vary, depending on the stage where the service commissioning starts. However although the extent may be different, the goal is the same: to achieve excellence in the quality of networks and electronic systems installed.

1. The ideal is to start from the moment of conceptualization of the project, ie even before starting the design. Then accompaniment and supervision stages of conceptual, basic and detailed design is made. Following project management methodology and allowing been a logical and documented process that includes end-user requirements (OPR) and the basis of design (BOD).

When there is commissioning in the design, actually have several views that make the most complete and efficient design, but above all integrated to the other disciplines (electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, electronic, structural, architectural, bioclimatic, urban, among many others ).

2. The presence of commissioning in the design stage, taking into account the total cost of ownership (TCO) system, estimating operating expenses (OpEx) and capital expenditures (CapEx); with the aim of making a good cash flow to ensure continuity of the installation process and the continuity of the operation once installed.

3. Service is commissioning work to determine the true feasibility of the process. That is to determine whether the associated costs (TCO) and other implications, are feasible within the project and if not make adjustments to the design (phase) and plan over time to achieve the ultimate goal and the benefits to the end user.

4. During the generation of Bidding Documents (RFP) based on design criteria, service commissioning can by the designer, doing support to potential bidders in a market of providers already studied and analyzed ... in this case , adequate service commissioning, is documented and transparent processes for objective selection (statistics, actual measurements, weights, feedback and suggestions) of the proposed technical, legal, financial and economic level.

This manages to make an efficient and intelligent purchase, without fear subjective vices of corruption and favoritism ... In many cases, a good commissioner manages to make an excellent negotiation with integrators because not concentrated in traditional trade positions, but manage to discover the true interests of the parties.

5. The collaboration of an authority for the commissioning of networks, makes recruitment processes and start of work are planned and not randomly stop situations. The contracted provider must then understand that there is only one owner who respond, or an auditor who deliver, but there is a group of professionals who know detail of your subject and to do the work contracted in the most efficient way possible , without guile, no hidden costs, meeting standards and improving processes. Early planning of all activities and compliance with the scope, time, cost and agreed quality are "north", which guides the presence of professional commissioning.

6. During the installation of infrastructure (spaces, ductwork and cabling), own supervisory work tasks should be done, but being strict on issues generated by current regulations, especially ISO / IEC and national standards. Detailed inspection and detailed monitoring of cable routes through ductwork and thinking spaces necessary maintenance and updating; They are of vital importance.

7. At the end of the wiring phases, the first comprehensive certification tests continuity and data networks begin. Verifying marquillas, signage, junction boxes, wiring system, minimum distances, electrical safety, among many aspects of passive elements of analog or digital communications.

8. During the assembly of equipment and configuration ... improvements are achieved by requiring internal bench testing (pre-assembly) and accuracy in assembly and connectorization of elements. Here coordination with other specialties supports defining the crossing points and borders zero meters between one system and another.

9. At the end of the assembly phase, energization, connectorization and basic configuration, really the most wasteful phase of commissioning of electronic equipment, where we engage 100% with the provider and integrator to achieve properly adjust the parameters of each system, each begins case. always thinking about the integration of systems and making the best of the capabilities of the equipment, according to the needs of the end user.

10. Commissioning service provider to do makes the process diagrams, operation and functioning of each system working independently and working in an integrated manner. It is at this stage, when it fails more often and where is invaluable presence of someone who not only required, but to guide on how to do it well done, because suppliers are not used to doing things with methodology and analysis.

11. This implies that the phase tuning system, special parameters, the graphical interface and full integration is supervised and guided by the commissioning team, in conjunction with the provider performing the installation.

12. The final phase of commissioning and is to receive physical systems installed and functional. A level of physical inventory is based on documentation (drawings, tables, pictures) that should include an orderly manner all the installed elements, consistent with the scope of the contract. Here the exercise is summarized with a general picture with greater or lesser amounts of elements.

13. At the operational level is based on documentation consists of a huge checklist and results of test protocols for each subsystem, including all supplied and installed in 4 scenarios (normal, alarm, emergency and fault) elements, both operating at autonomous level and integrated with other systems (the same contractor or other).

14. Tests must be verified in different places: a. each device, b. in the quarterfinals of interconnection and / or where there are drivers or intermediate active equipment and c. on the computer to perform the centralization of information at the level of hardware and software, almost always in the main control room.

15. Commissioning generates test protocols, extensive and detailed. Performed in conjunction with the integrator needed to put the system in its top performance and try for sure the benefits of installed equipment, providing different scenarios and possibilities that could happen in each case activities.

16. Many of these tests are not successfully passed through the integrator therefore supports the commissioning authority, recommends improvements and adjustments are achieved to pass the tests. So that in many cases the "fine tuning" of all systems are work suggested by the commissioner.

17. After the tests and successfully pass all of the above protocols, an act which ensures that the system is properly installed and working properly signed. And provide all supporting documentation satisfactory physical and functional cadastre.

18. The next step of commissioning service is to receive the documentation by the integrator supplied and installed equipment. Ensuring that the plans and interconnect diagrams "as builded" are adjusted to reality and all of the manuals, licenses and other elements are complete.

19. A key part is to ensure that the operation of equipment and integrated networks will be continuous. The commissioning monitors and evaluates training is made to operators, supervisors and system administrators, making the transfer of knowledge really is adequate.

20. commissioning service ensuring the details of the maintenance contract and service levels for technical support teams, ensuring that the operation thereof is assured is completed.

Excellence in quality
When a system has been commissioned and has passed all necessary tests, it is calibrated so as to minimize failures in the expected operation. Therefore it becomes a quality process, so that current electronic systems are a real tool for efficient administration.

Time commissioning service
Usually uses the same time that elapses the project, however at the stage of end-commissioning, specifically during extensive testing and fine-tuning, you can take one or two more depending on the number of devices to try and complexity settings required.

Estimated cost of service
The normal value of the service depends on the number of subsystems in the project, its complexity, the number of professionals who should be involved and as long as their presence is required in the work. Usually a team 3 5 to different professionals, highly trained, may be sufficient for media projects. In this case the rate estimate is close to 5% of the total value of electronic project.

Work team
The team for commissioning is interdisciplinary, ie it is not a single outstanding engineer all aspects, but a group of engineers from different specialties at the right time attending meetings with contractors to guide them in the process, the plan continuous improvement of the project, professional testing and detailed adjustments to achieve the benefits raised. Have measuring equipment, verification and registration makes testing be objectively supported.

A project manager, suitable methodologies involving technically known technology and systems, becomes the axis of communication and process efficiency, reducing risk, improving quality and protecting investment.

* Germán Alexis H. Cortes is Colombian Electronic Engineer, with postgraduate studies in Engineering Management Systems. Consultant to the National Institute of Standards and Technology - NIST, electronic security and building automation. CCP ASIS, and CISSP ISC2. He has over 20 years of experience in the electronic security industry. Recognized lecturer and university teacher in high-tech issues Latin level. He has been a director of several companies in the sector and is currently a partner and directs Insetrón Ltda, company engineering and technical consulting projects of electronic networks for security, communications and automation. He has successfully participated in more than 150 Latin level projects. Contact him at email

Santiago Jaramillo
Author: Santiago Jaramillo
Social communicator and journalist with more than 15 years of experience in specialized digital and print media for Latin America. Currently Editor of the Security Sales, Building Management and Academic Coordinator of the TecnoEdificios Congress.


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