SCADA Systems Increase Efficiency and Profitability
Whether water is flowing into local homes or flowing out as wastewater to a treatment plant, the process requires a network of pipes, pumps, and other equipment. If there’s a problem in the system, the results can be devastating. Residential and commercial customers rely on a steady stream of clean water, and a blockage in wastewater management can create an environmental hazard. Employing remote monitoring SCADA systems allows technicians to address minor problems before they cause serious trouble.
Understanding a SCADA System
A Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System is an information-gathering network that reports real-time information about equipment and system status. System supervisors can confirm that the system operates within normal levels, and they will receive alerts if something is amiss.
Every piece of equipment in a plant or water system is a potential data point, sending various information. A SCADA network starts with a collection of sensors. One sensor might report basic information, such as whether a valve is open or closed, while other sensors can track more complex issues, such as water pressure in a pipe or the rate of water level change in a reservoir.
The Communication Network
Water and wastewater systems cover large geographic areas. It takes a comprehensive communications network to bring the data to a central location. In the field, sensors send data to a remote terminal unit. The RTU can handle some control functions automatically. It acts as the first line of defense to prevent an emergency.
The network uses radio/modems, repeaters, and cellular networks to boost the signal to reach the SCADA master station. This unit is the brain of the system that processes and interprets sensor data.
SCADA Programming and the Human Machine Interface
While the RTUs can handle some issues on-site, the system still needs human oversight. The Human Machine Interface (HMI) is the terminal where supervisors monitor and control the system. They can remotely operate equipment anywhere in the SCADA network.
SCADA Systems in the Water and Wastewater Industries
A remote monitoring system is a natural fit for the water and wastewater industries. The reality is that leaks do not fix themselves and will continue to cause problems until they’re addressed. SCADA technology allows service providers to have direct knowledge of blockage or leakage problems. Importantly, this system lets technicians pinpoint the location of the issue leading to an after response.
Practical Benefits of a SCADA System
Water system equipment maintenance often follows the guidelines provided by the manufacturer. However, every unit faces unique working conditions that can cause unexpected strain. SCADA systems alert technicians when equipment is not operating within ideal parameters. This knowledge can prevent breakdowns and lengthen a unit’s usable life.
As with many systems, problems in one part of a wastewater collection system can cause issues down the line. When supervisors receive immediate alerts, they can respond quickly and fix issues before a cascading failure.
The combination of immediate data collection and remote operation by the RTU will reduce friction in daily processes. Maintenance calls will be more predictable, and response times will decrease.
Increased efficiency lowers operating costs and raises profitability. With a remote monitoring system in place, there will be more time spent on scheduled maintenance calls and less overtime for emergency repairs. The system will also reduce the number of customer disruptions resulting in greater satisfaction and less time spent addressing complaints.
Working with an Experienced SCADA System Partner
High Tide Technologies provides cloud-based SCADA technology for clients in the water and wastewater industries. Our expert team can help develop networks to monitor water collection, treatment, and distribution systems remotely. We specialize in SCADA programming that employs advanced machine logic and offers a user-friendly human interface. A well-designed SCADA network will improve the efficiency of any water system. To learn more about SCADA systems for your operation, reach out to High Tide Technologies today.