Faced with unreliable equipment and an inflexible SCADA solution, ICTech chose InduSoft Web Studio as the ideal upgrade to TSSD’s wastewater treatment facility.
- Innovative Control Technologies (ICTech) works as the systems integrator for Timpanogos Special Service District (TSSD). The TSSD wastewater treatment facility treats around twenty million gallons of wastewater per day.
- The InduSoft Web Studio solution collects and displays data from over 20 remote sites, all while maintaining a small footprint for use on Windows Embedded devices.
- The InduSoft Web Studio Solution is reliable and has decreased downtime considerably for TSSD.
|Figure 1: An aerial overview of TSSD shows the scope of the project.
The treatment of water and wastewater is so critical to a community, and water utilities play a vital role in a high quality municipal infrastructure. There is tremendous pressure placed on systems integrators in the water/wastewater treatment market to deliver a reliable and cost effective solution for water treatment.
That was the case for Innovative Control Technologies (ICTech), who works as the systems integrator for Timpanogos Special Service District, or TSSD. TSSD manages a wastewater treatment facility that treats around twenty million gallons of wastewater per day. TSSD was struggling with an unreliable SCADA solution for wastewater treatment, so they asked ICTech to find and implement a better solution.
Innovative Control Technologies is located in Bluffdale, Utah, and specializes in developing turnkey SCADA solutions, as well as upgrades and adjustments to existing SCADA systems. Their skill in improving existing SCADA solutions is what convinced the Timpanogos Special Service District water treatment facility to enlist their aid in adapting or replacing their current, unsatisfactory solution for their waste treatment plant.
The monitoring system of the plant measures the flow levels of over twenty remote locations and pumps the wastewater to the necessary levels required for gravity to carry the flow into the plant for treatment. The monitoring system measures this flow at the different sites, communicates the information to the main system, and then trends and reports the data, which is then used by operators to make adjustments to the system.
|Figure 2: Screens for individual remote locations monitor both current flow volume and historical flow, along with maximum allowable flow and averages.
The biggest issue with the existing SCADA solution at the TSSD plant was a lack of reliability. The solution being used to monitor the waste treatment process failed frequently due to radio issues, creating problems for the entire facility, as well as for the customers served by the plant. Several hours a week were lost to downtime, and the limited capabilities of the existing SCADA system complicated the process. That solution lacked key functionality, particularly in trending and reporting capabilities. The decision to find and implement a better solution for monitoring the waste treatment plant was an easy one, but the hard part was finding a reliable, cost effective, and versatile SCADA package.
While reliability and stability were the key concerns of operators at the TSSD plant, there were other requirements that had to be fulfilled before the project could move forward. The new solution had to have a small enough footprint to reliably work on a Windows XP Embedded system without sacrificing key features like trending and reporting capabilities. In addition, the software had to be able to remotely communicate with multiple locations over radios using the Modbus protocol. The software also had to be competitively priced, and offer more functionality for less cost than the current solution to consider a retrofit.
Figure 3: InduSoft Web Studio has a small footprint that can be easily deployed to Windows Embedded devices such as touch-screen HMI panels.
ICTech had experience with InduSoft Web Studio, and knew that it was robust enough to handle the multiple remote data locations. InduSoft Web Studio also has powerful trending and reporting capabilities, all while running smoothly on embedded systems with a small footprint. Those qualities made it the perfect candidate for upgrading the waste treatment plant’s monitoring system. ICTech developed a solution using InduSoft Web Studio, and implemented it quickly, solving both the problem of unreliable monitoring and incomplete data acquisition with one stable software solution that communicates effortlessly with the plant’s remote sites.
The InduSoft Web Studio solution, uses one computer as the main control computer. This terminal is where the information from the remote sites is displayed. The same computer also records and displays trending information and reports the flow levels to operators. The wastewater treatment application connects to SCADAPack PLCs using Modbus or Ethernet to speak to the remote sites.
The InduSoft Web Studio application developed and implemented by ICTech was installed quickly and easily. According to Robert Simons, Control Engineer at ICTech, “The software monitors, trends, and reports data from the remote sites. It performs very well, and often better, compared to other much more expensive software.”
The move to InduSoft Web Studio was beneficial for TSSD. The water treatment plant now has a highly reliable system that has significantly reduced downtime, and is able to better serve those within the district. Issues with radios have been addressed, allowing TSSD to take advantage of the additional capabilities of InduSoft Web Studio. The increased connectivity has decreased the need for operators to drive out to the individual sites for repairs or maintenance.
For ICTech, the benefits have also been notable. After using InduSoft Web Studio for this project, ICTech has continued to explore and develop new applications with InduSoft Web Studio, and plans to use this SCADA platform in quite a few projects moving forward.
||Figure 4: The main facility houses information collected from over twenty remote sites.
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