Are traditional SCADA systems a thing of the past?
17 July 2014
The pressure being placed on local and county utilities continues to rise as customers demand quicker problem identification and resolutions. Regulatory organisations are imposing stricter compliance requirements, while reporting requirements are becoming increasingly more demanding.
Engineers require an enhanced integrated SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system that does not require ongoing upgrades or pose any difficulties associated with maintaining reliability and consistency. Traditional SCADA systems are no longer up to the task and a fresh contemporary approach is needed. This is where Mitsubishi Electric Europe has stepped in to offer a solution in the form of MAPS (Mitsubishi Adroit Process Suite).
MAPS, a windows-based SCADA system, delivers a fully integrated automation design, engineering and life cycle management solution that reduces the engineering effort and costs associated with automation projects. As life-cycle management starts on the day you decide to engineer a new part of your manufacturing process, it is paramount to maintain a solution with increasing returns. Designed to offer a fully integrated management solution, MAPS can significantly reduce lifecycle engineering effort and costs, offering savings of up to 50%.
MAPS adds value throughout all the phases of the automation system project, from process design to engineering, development of the control systems, installation, commissioning, start-up and acceptance testing, all the way through to operations, maintenance, repairs and ongoing upgrades. Unlike traditional SCADA programmes, MAPS delivers a tightly integrated SCADA and programmable logic controller (PLC) solution built around pre-configured and tested engineering libraries, with a built-in full suite of diagnostics and maintenance tools and integrated document management capabilities.
One such industry that benefits greatly from the installation of MAPS is the water/waste-water industry. This can be seen by the operators of a waste-water treatment plant and four associated purification plants in County Wicklow. The installation of MAPS and other Mitsubishi Electric Automation products saw reductions in ongoing operating costs, as well as increasing energy efficiency and optimising the transfer of data. MAPS allowed operators to accurately track and control all process stages and systems remotely.
COUNTY WICKLOW EXPERIENCE
“We’ve installed a complete Mitsubishi Electric Solution comprising of MAPS alongside their range of PLCs and Variable Speed Drives in some of our waste-water treatment plants,” said Paul Olthof, executive engineer, Wicklow County Council.
“The most attractive feature for us is the remote access availability to the site conditions, which minimises call out requirements and means more can be achieved with less staff involvement required. The data collection and reporting aspect is an added bonus and frees up significant amounts of time during the annual reporting period,” he added.
DDC Ltd, a Mitsubishi integration partner, installed a complete integrated automation solution based on the Mitsubishi Electric iQ Platform, various frequency inverters and graphical operator terminal (GOT) series human-machine interfaces (HMIs). The solution was designed and visualised using the MAPS.
These treatment plants in Wicklow will enjoy the benefits encompassed in a complete Mitsubishi Electric automated solution:
• Automatic reporting and documentation
One key feature of MAPS that greatly benefits the water/waste-water industry is its ability to automatically generate Environment Protection Agency (EPA) reports. In Ireland, the EPA keeps a close eye on businesses in order to make sure that its environmental protection requirements are strictly adhered to. The method used to do this is based on a special reporting procedure results in regular time-consuming visits to plants on a daily basis.
By means of collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric, the aim is not only to improve the efficiency of data transfer, but also to reduce the energy consumption at plants – in order to save on resources and reduce costs. It is important for the plant operators of Ireland to be able to supply the Irish environmental authorities with information for the EPA report in a prescribed format.
Beforehand, this information used to be collected manually by engineers, however with MAPS, it can be requested and compiled automatically by the Mitsubishi Business Intelligence System, thus saving on time and effort.
• Frequency inverters increase energy efficiency
A high level of energy efficiency combined with maximum availability is one of the central requirements for automation components. The same applies to frequency inverters: not only do they need to provide high dynamics and speed stability, but they also need to make a significant contribution towards saving energy and consequently improving plant efficiency.
At the waste-water treatment and purification plants in the Wicklow, Mitsubishi Electric FR-F740 frequency inverters and the IP20 FR-FSU (Floor Standing Unit) take care of the task of regulating the high-pressure pumps. The special characteristics of the FR-F740 include SensorLess Vector control (SLV), automatic motor data recognition during operation, Soft-PWM for reducing noise and additional special processes for achieving extra-ordinary energy savings.
• MAPS brings reduced engineering costs
Engineering, commissioning and maintenance costs can be reduced considerably by installing MAPS. This involves combining three basic tasks within the construction of the plant – the programming of the PLC, the development of the process control application and the creation and updating of documentation. The MAPS library contains preassembled modules or templates for doing this.
In the case of the water and waste-water industry, the templates relate to automation objects such as pumps, valves, tanks and flow meters. The faceplate – i.e. the graphic representation, alarms, the data archiving for the object in question, tags for the process control system, including a list of all the digital and analogue inputs and outputs used in the program – are included in a template in accordance with the processes displayed in the controller.
The result is an efficient PLC program, a process control application in which alarms, trends, data archiving and faceplates are generated along with a list of the inputs and outputs used. By means of collaboration with Adroit Technologies, customer-specific templates were created for use at the Irish waste-water treatment and purification plant.
The full commissioning of four small to medium-sized purification plants was carried out in less than a week. It is highly unlikely that the commissioning of the plants could have been carried out in such record time if conventional engineering tools had been used.
• Secure remote access
Modern communication solutions, remote control concepts and flexible data management mean that the plant operators are now able to visualise the status of all the parts of the plant from a central location at any time. All the data required are archived automatically, which has meant dispensing with local data collection costs as plant values are checked remotely. Windows Security ensures that only authorised persons are able to access the system by managing users and groups.
• Fault detection during a service visit: alarm signaling by SMS
Local GOT operator terminals from Mitsubishi Electric, which are used for the monitoring and manual control of the individual stations, bring transparency to the functional sequences and enable process-oriented dialogue between operator and plant. As all the relevant information is immediately accessible, a service engineer can display a comprehensive overview of all the system processes.
Besides being easy to operate and configure, the GOT control devices have powerful diagnostic functions. The reporting system ensures rapid fault detection, which means that down times are reduced as a result. Alarms are displayed immediately within the control room via the centralised alarm system. In addition, if a problem arises the system sends a text message to the members of the service team via standard mobile data terminals within a very short time so that they are able to react quickly and thus save on resources and reduce down times.
THE RIGHT INFORMATION IN THE RIGHT FORMAT
Besides the need to archive data, all information occurring has to be presented as clearly as possible so that the operators can react quickly to a situation if necessary. In the case of the plant in Ireland, the Adroit SCADA Intelligence Suite (ASI) looks after the preparation of data.
The database is searched at regular intervals for relevant information that is then put into a specific context such as a special pump, for example. Details relating to location, availability, delivery rates, energy consumption and other user-specific data will be stored for that pump.
Once configured, this information will be periodically stored in the so-called data warehouse, while taking account of the relevant context, from where it can then be quickly and clearly displayed in an Excel-based report, for example, for the purpose of studying the efficiency of the pumps by comparing delivery rates and energy consumption.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2014/07/17/are-traditional-scada-systems-a-thing-of-the-past/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Wastewater-1024x683.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Wastewater-300x300.jpgTechlocal authorities,waste,water