The way I understand it, commissioning a machine refers to installing all of its systems and subsystems, making sure everything is running properly, testing it with an initial batch, documenting the processes and then, finally, handing over the machine over to the customer.

Is this everything? Is there more?

The reason I'm asking is that I'm trying to find a translation for German Inbetriebnahme, which is being used as a chapter header in several user's manuals for the parts that help make up the machine, e.g. drives/motors, HMI panels, etc. Literally, the German means "Putting into operation", but doesn't really distinguish so much between "first commissioning" and "just getting the thing running at any point". It therefore includes things like installation, first switch-on, etc. but also replacing modules, changing settings, etc., i.e. things that happen after "first commissioning".

So I guess my questions are:

Commissioning in English only has to do with the very first time that a machine is put into operation, correct?

The individual components themselves are not commissioned per sé; they are installed and then included as part of the overall "commissioning" of the machine, correct?

Am I missing anything? Thanks for any info!!

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about electrical/electronic design. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Mar 22 '16 at 13:04
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I believe that commissioning engineered systems is something that electrical engineers need to understand. Is this not the Electrical Engineering StackExchange, not just the electronic design StackExchange? I am voting to reopen. \$\endgroup\$ – Charles Cowie Mar 23 '16 at 17:06

For me, installation is completely separate from commissioning.

A contractor or series of contractors does the installation. After the system is installed, I get called in to do the commissioning. Note that no power as ever been applied to the system at this point.

Upon arriving at the site, I do a complete inspection. I then perform simple meter tests to ensure that there are not any obvious wiring errors.

Only after this inspection and meter testing does power get applied to the system.

Then comes performance testing. Every aspect of the system is tested and correct operation is confirmed.

This is the time when system errors and not correct operation are determined. Problems that are easy to fix are corrected immediately.

Sometimes these problems are the result of inadequate communication between customer and supplier. The fixes can be time consuming.

When correct system operation is confirmed, we then start to run the customer product through the system. Operator training begins at this point.

Only when correct operation and operator training is complete do we formally hand the system to be customer.

Commissioning is then complete.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the answer! This is my first question on stackexchange. Do I need to mark as "Answered" or give you votes/points or anything? If so, how? Thanks again! \$\endgroup\$ – BluegrassWorker Mar 22 '16 at 11:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Operator training is often not included in commissioning. Often supervisory, industrial engineering and maintenance personnel review the operation to assure themselves that everything is as expected. They are then equipped to train the operating personnel. If the equipment is of a type that is completely new to the supervisory and engineering personnel they may elect to receive sufficient training to be prepared to train the others. \$\endgroup\$ – Charles Cowie Mar 23 '16 at 16:45

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