Salas O’Brien has decades of experience designing building systems and controls from mechanical and electrical to direct digital control (DDC), life safety, and fire protection. Our professionals have an extensive knowledge base that covers not only older electric, pneumatic, and electronic systems, but also the migration path of the cutting-edge systems of today. Our merger with Varo has reinforced these areas of expertise and introduced complementary ones—like automation for industrial clients.

Expertise in Action

IndustrialLike Salas O’Brien’s work with systems and controls for retail, commercial, and residential buildings, Varo’s extensive industrial automation expertise requires not only a thorough knowledge of the latest systems, but also a working understanding of older systems and how they can be upgraded or integrated to achieve the highest possible efficiency. These services are vital for industrial clients that rely on heavily automated systems to carry out complex and sometimes dangerous manufacturing, bulk material handling, or production processes.

One of our new team’s recent projects required this kind of broad knowledge and agile process. Their client, a large midstream gas transmission company, was having issues with outdated automatic and manual control systems at an important midstream compressor station. They brought in Varo for a retrofit and upgrade—but the process got complicated. The malfunctioning controls were obsolete and mismatched, and previous upgrades and patches to the systems had gone undocumented. Added to this, four compressor unit control panels and the overall station control panel needed to be completely replaced, but the station could only shut down operations for limited windows of time—necessitating a staged upgrade.

Working closely with station personnel, corporate engineering, and project management staff, Varo completed field investigation and reviews and submitted an extensive drawing package in less than three months. The replacement controls’ design allowed for a modular installation, and Varo was able to minimize the on-site construction issues experienced by installation personnel.

Our engineers have learned to expect the unexpected when working with complex automation and control systems, and they’ve demonstrated agile expertise time and time again. To find out how this expertise could impact your next project, contact Jeremy Ahijevych at