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5 questions with Logical Systems' senior controls lead

July 1, 2020
Chris Harvey offers up the foresight of his veteran experience to the controls and automation community

Chris Harvey, senior controls lead, Logical Systems (LSI)

Logical Systems, a global provider of systems integration welcomed Chris Harvey as its newest senior controls lead this April. Harvey is responsible for overseeing a variety of LSI’s high-level process control engineering endeavors, including the design and optimization of processes from the ground up. Harvey will be involved with control program creation, implementation, project management and business development.

Prior to joining LSI, Harvey served as senior project manager-engineer for Molson Coors. During his time at Molson Coors, he served in multiple leadership positions, providing technical guidance during the development, implementation and conversion phases of the company’s more complex brewing system projects. Harvey brings more than 30 years of engineering, process control and brewing industry experience to LSI’s team.

Chris Harvey answered 5 questions about the Logical Systems and what its future holds.

What are three key things that a machine builder, system integrator or manufacturer should know about your company?

LSI is more than just a controls integrator. Our team – including leadership – is tremendously experienced and knowledgeable. We have a long history of successful mechanical and electrical designs for process, packaging and distribution. We can also handle construction management services for our clients.

When our partners describe LSI, they use words like consistency, accountability and caring. LSI consistently provides solutions that exceed our customers' expectations. Every LSI team member very much believes in accountability with regards to how they design, execute and implement a project. We truly care about our clients, which is evident by the way we listen carefully to them, ensuring that the success of their overall business is paramount. Teamwork is important as well, and our goal is always to succeed together.

LSI is very nimble with the solutions we provide. We're a Rockwell Solutions Partner, Siemens Solution Partner, OSIsoft Partner, Wonderware Certified Developer and an Ignition Certified Developer. In fact, that only highlights a few of our capabilities. We've also done extensive development with control systems such as DeltaV, PlantPAX, and PCS 7 – and we continue to grow our knowledge every day.

How does the Industrial Internet of Things figure in your business strategy?

LSI has been innovating the use of the IIoT since its inception. All of our projects are designed and executed with the intent that data should be sent from the field instrumentation up to the MES level. We're always looking to leverage instrumentation that has the connectivity (Ethernet, HART, etc.) to obtain more than just the actual field measurement. There is a lot of valuable data that exists on modern instrumentation that should be captured, recorded and analyzed to drive better decision making – and just as important – improved predictive maintenance.

How will machine automation and controls alter the way companies staff their operations in the future?

I would say that it already has. An example of this is how companies are now looking to hire electronic technicians who can not only wire 480VAC motors, but also create the PLC program (or at the very least, troubleshoot the program). This concept will move onto the manufacturing floor as traditional labor functions are replaced with automated machinery. Instead of hiring manual laborers, they'll be looking for individuals who have the skills to interface with the automated machinery to maximize efficiencies. Companies that can train current employees on the functionality of automated machinery will be ahead of the game, since they'll have workers with a good understanding of the process. These companies will be able to leverage automated machinery to maximize productivity.

As engineering and IT continue their convergence, which one is and/or will be leading the direction of future automation and technology at your organization?

I believe that engineering should always lead the direction of future automation and technology, but it needs to be engineering with a strong focus on IT. Here at LSI, we consider engineering to be the pulse of manufacturing and what is needed (or what is possible). In no way is this meant to minimize the importance of IT. IT is essential because it provides the checks and balances that ensure all automation and technology solutions are protected, integrated (with plant MES systems) and maintained.

Looking into the future, how will technology change your company over the next five years?

As development tools mature and improve, the speed at which controls solutions are developed and implemented will increase for LSI. However, even the newest systems have limitations, and we will continue to address and refine them. We are also finding new ways to provide reliable access to data, 24-hours-a-day, from anywhere in the world. This remote accessibility to systems and data allows us to support and improve not just our customers' processes, but our own as well.

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