As part of the upgrade, CSWS re-evaluated its existing SCADA system alarm definitions to help ensure alarms were used where needed and nuisance alarms were reduced.
“We assessed all of our definitions for critical alarms and re-configured our alarming to make sure all were defined correctly,” said Kellogg.
“The alarm count on the original system was about 600, and we now have close to 1,000 alarms in place.” Using the WIN-911 tool from Rockwell Automation Encompass™ Partner, Spector Instruments, CSWS streamlined alarm management with remote access and control capabilities.
The tool is used to notify city operators of alarms via their mobile phone or email. If the operator does not respond within the allotted response rate, an escalation function notifies the next person in line until someone is reached and addresses the alarm.
The new system also includes a process historian that collects and analyzes 12 months of process data (versus the 30 days of data in its old system).
The city now has access to real-time and historical water trends, such as system demands, levels and storage.
“We work in a cyclical industry, so insight to trends can help us more easily prepare for a major event, such as a water-main break or a major rainfall,” said Kellogg.
“The data can also help estimate population growth trends, so we’re prepared to meet demand.” Utilizing change-management hierarchy, the new system incorporates role-based security for operators and plant personnel.
It’s also equipped for easy enterprise resource planning (ERP) integration to accommodate future plans to tie production dashboards to the city’s ERP and work order system, and eventually replace manual data spreadsheets.
For long-term support, CSWS procured a Rockwell Automation service agreement that provides field service professionals to assist with scheduled maintenance and help troubleshoot the system when
In addition, CSWS has a TechConnect™ support agreement for its online and phone support needs.
Project start-up and commissioning began in May 2009, with the final phase of the four-phase project completed in 2013.
With the new system in place, the city has increased its average daily water flow from 8.1 million gallons to 11.8 million gallons. The newly automated plant has eased troubleshooting and maintenance.
By removing disparate systems and utilizing one standardized solution, CSWS can easily manage spare parts inventory and replace outdated equipment. And, the service agreement from Rockwell Automation provides a large annual cost savings in inventory and parts handling.
College Station’s previous control system stocked spare parts inventory of about $250,000. The city’s spare part investment is now less than $20,000 – and on-site inventory uses far less storage space.
“Customer service was an important deciding factor for the city,” said Kellogg. “We were impressed by the products, solutions, services and multilayers of support available by investing in Rockwell Automation, and knew it offered the best total cost of ownership.”
With the real-time phone support and software updates provided with TechConnect, CSWS is just one phone call away from repairs. Additionally, remote-monitoring capabilities via WIN-911, new virtualized servers, and networked communications help plant managers and operators access operations and troubleshoot from remote locations.
Before the upgrade, the plant operated 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Now it runs one shift, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and requires only five operators instead of 11.
As a result, CSWS can reallocate its human resources to other critical areas and provide staff with new opportunities for career growth.
Overall, CSWS has managed to save valuable time and money through the increased productivity and decreased downtime at their wastewater treatment plant.
Remote access to equipment allows operators to respond to issues before downtime occurs – the city has decreased downtime by 10 percent and increased response time by 25 percent.
And, since implementing the PlantPAx system, VFDs and motor control has helped the city record approximately $65,000 in annual energy savings.
The results mentioned above are specific to College Station Water Services’ use of Rockwell Automation products and services in conjunction with other products. Specific results may vary for other customers.