GRANTS PASS – On the heels of some recent communication and control issues resulting in a few "hair-raising" events for the operating staff, the city’s Water Filtration Plant received an important update to its Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system this week, said Public Works Director Jason Canady.
Canady and the technicians in the city’s Information Technology Department, along with some assistance from RH2 Engineering, were able to get the retiring system back online and stable, but the issues resulted in advancing the timeline to upgrade the system.
The SCADA system servers, human machine interfaces (HMI), networking hardware and software applications working in conjunction with the programable logic controller (PLC), as well as switches and other automation components enable a single operator to oversee the operation of the water plant.
“The SCADA is sort of the eyes of the plant,” said Canady. It allows the operator to see everything that is going on with the plant, including distribution and collection operations, he said.
“Every piece of operating data and asset status is also collected and used for analysis and compliance reporting,” said plant superintendent Larry Smith.
The new system is an upgraded software version of the previous Rockwell Suite, said Smith
The retiring system operates on a 32-bit platform currently phasing out in industrial applications. The last 32-bit operating systems released by Microsoft were Widows 7 and Windows Server 2008. Windows 7 will no longer be supported after January 2020.
“The new system operates on a 64-bit platform which provides increased system reliability, increased communication speeds, and a more robust software suite,” Smith said.
In addition to the operator interface (HMI), the software suite provides the facility with a custom report building application, as well as the ability to custom build trending and data analysis.
“This will enable the operating staff to analyze the standard operating parameters to evaluate the effectiveness, efficiency and cost of operating the Water Filtration Plant as well as the Distribution System Reservoirs and Pump Stations,” said Smith.
The city’s water and waste water plants both operate using this system.