Replacing Paper Temperature Logs
Each incubator in one of Control Point’s customers facility
had a piece of paper taped to the door and the supervisor
had to spend time each day writing down the temperature
as part of a log to ensure that the incubator temperature
stayed consistent. The problem was that temperature
history was only reliable at the times when the supervisor
was looking at the indicator on the incubator – the other
23 hours, there was no data. To solve the problem,
we installed RTD’s and Red Lion Panel meters with
communications. The Red Lion panel meters could then
continuously report the incubator temperature back to a
centralized SCADA software from Citect. Citect SCADA was
configured to display the real-time temperature values, log
the temperature history, and provide a mechanism for
monthly data to be verified with a signature. Topview alarm
notification software was installed to provide escalating text
and email notification of temperature variances so operators
and supervisors could react to abnormal conditions before
the product in the incubators had to be scrapped. With a
proper history of alarm conditions and temperatures,
operations could spend their valuable time on other activities.
Remote monitoring and control of natural gas regulator stations
At the natural gas regulator stations of one of our customers, they are now able to monitor and control the sites around the clock. Accutech wireless instruments were installed to measure temperature, pressure, flow volume, and to provide valve control. The wireless sensors report back to a central Accutech gateway that provides standard Modbus communications to a Schneider Electric ScadaPack RTU controller. The DNP3 native ScadaPack RTU is capable of control, multi-protocol communications and data collection, up to 30 days in this application. Red Lion cellular routers connect the ScadaPacks at the regulator stations with the regional server where the customer has installed Schneider Electrics ClearScada software for real-time monitoring, historical data collection and alarming. In addition, the use of Exele’s Topview software allows the operators and engineers to receive text messages and emails based on alarm conditions in the system. Due to the extremely accurate power management of the ScadaPack RTU controller, we were able to provide our customer with a solar power system for these remote sites. A very green operating environment thanks to our Schneider Electric TRSS and Red Lion product lines.
Public Water Supplier's Remote Communication
A major public water supplier in the Burlington,Vermont
area needed a better way to communicate to their
remote wells and pump stations. Because they were
using radios to support communications to the remote
sites, they needed equipment that could manage slower
communications and the potential for losses in
communication. The solution they chose was based
on the DNP3 communications protocol that was designed
for remote communication systems. The vendor they
chose for their RTU’s and local controls was Schneider
Electrics SCADAPack controllers. DNP3 offers this user
the ability to have report by exception communications
from their remote sites with an integrity poll that can be
infrequent and slow enough that the radio network is
not overwhelmed. DNP3 also supports local data storage
and backfilling of data should communications go down.
The added benefit received by using DNP3 is that it is
secure, using encryption on all messages and authentication as
needed on control signals. The SCADAPack controllers that
were chosen support DNP3 and were designed for the
tough environmental conditions associated with a Vermont winter.
Public Water Supplier's Control System
In 2009 a major public water supplier in Vermont
had an old control system that was in need of repair.
They wanted to make sure that they upgraded to
current technology that would offer them a
redundant control solution without breaking the
bank. They also wanted to make sure that the
transition was a seamless as possible.
Working with a local integrator, they chose to use
Sixnet’s IPM controllers with distributed Ethertrak2
I/O modules. The rugged Ethertrak2 I/O supported
their analog and discrete I/O requirements and
uniquely allowed for communications back to the
redundant IPM controllers. The communication was
unique because Ethertrak2 I/O has two Ethernet ports
on board that can support an Ethernet ring, allowing
the Ethernet to be daisy chained throughout the
control cabinet. Sixnet was also able to offer the Ethernet ring switches to complete the package. With redundant communications in the IPM controllers and an Ethernet ring between the I/O modules, the water department and their integrator had a stable and reliable platform to build a control system that would last.
Citect SCADA in a Manufacturing Application
A major aircraft engine manufacturer in CT needs
a lot of steam to heat the acres of engineering,
manufacturing and testing facilities on their campus.
They also need steam for production processes.
Citect SCADA has provided an excellent interface to
the boiler operations from the boiler plant control
room and remotely from management offices. The
system consists of two redundant SCADA servers
that each serve four wall mounted monitors making
up the 4 x 2 array of monitors shown in the picture
below. The redundant SCADA servers ensure that
communication, data logging and alarm processing
continue even if one of the SCADA computers fails.
Multiple monitors allow operators to see dashboard gauges, trend screens, alarm screens and process graphics at the same time, providing for a quick and informative view of the boilers operation. Integrated locally and managed by on-site personnel, the Citect SCADA system has become an integral tool for boiler management.
Wind Turbine Manufacturer Monitors Equipment in the Field
If the equipment that you manufacture is very expensive and it is installed in remote, sometimes harsh, areas, you might want to be able to monitor its health and operation. That is the case with one of our customers who manufactures Wind Turbines. This customer has started to install Sixnet Cellular Routers on their wind turbines so that they can have high speed access to their remote equipment. Once powered up in the field, the cellular router connects to the cellular provider and obtains an IP address. Depending on the system design, this IP address could be public on the web or private, and it could be dynamic or static. Most commonly our customers use static private addresses so they can make a secure remote connection to the router, sometimes through a VPN. This allows customers like our Wind Turbine manufacturer to monitor their equipment all over the world. Do you need to connect to equipment that is remotely installed? Maybe a Sixnet cellular router would be suitable for your needs.
Wood Products KPI Monitoring
Control Point routinely works with systems integrators throughout New England. Recently a local system integrator installed a Red Lion Productivity Station at a wood products customer of theirs. The purpose of the project was to monitor real time productivity on the plant floor so that operators and supervisors could know how well they were doing. They linked the Productivity Station to the equipment controls and to a large high definition TV, allowing for a large screen without a lot of expense. Because they connected the Productivity Station to the control system hardware, they were able to display real time efficiency data to the factory workers in a format that made sense. Simple display of key performance indicators (KPI’s) like downtime, production, and quality can drive process improvements and revenue improvements for almost any manufacturer.
Local High Tech Manufacturer tracks OEE
When you are making thousands of parts per hour, machine stoppages dramatically affect your plant efficiency. Our customer has four production lines that make a highly profitable product. Prior to installing Ampla, the engineering group was using rudimentary methods to determine how much downtime they were seeing and the cause of that downtime. They also did not have a consistent real-time view of their production rates. Schneider Electric’s Ampla software was installed on top of the Citect SCADA software on the production line to collect this information. Not only does Ampla track when and for how long a machine goes down, it also captures the error code so that the engineers can determine what repairs and improvements they need to prioritize. The compilation of downtime and production data is handled automatically in Ampla, as is the calculation of equipment OEE. While this is a far more extensive implementation of KPI tracking, the return on investment has been realized.
Water Department SCADA Upgrade
The water district in northern Maine had an old small SCADA package which was connected to a master radio. The master radio polled remote radios from seven sites – five wells, one reservoir and one stand pipe. They turned to Control Point because they were unhappy with their existing technology, system reliability and monthly cost of renting tower space for a repeater.
Control Point was able to replace their radios with cellular routers, and to provide a modern SCADA software to run on Windows 7. The water district will now has a modern SCADA software communicating over Ethernet to a Red Lion (Sixnet) cellular system, replacing the old serial radio network. Red Lion was the company of choice for the necessary power supplies and current transducers connected to the remotely mounted Sixnet Ethernet I/O modules. RTD assemblies, also provided by Control Point, are being used for temperature sensors, while TopView’s alarm management software is used for e-mail and text message notification of system alarms.
Apartment Building Water Monitoring
The owner of a newly constructed apartment building in Boston Massachusetts needed to know how much hot and cold water is used by each apartment in his building for billing purposes. He had selected a vendor for flow meters that had communications built in, but did not have a plan to aggregate the data for the billing company. The Red Lion Data Station Plus became the simple solution for what could have been an expensive problem. The billing company wanted access to a simple file that would contain water usage data from each apartment. Initially it looked like this was going to require an expensive combination of computer and data collection software. Instead, the Red Lion Data Station Plus provided everything they wanted in an industrial package that could be mounted in a utility room. The Data Station Plus (DSP) is communicating with the flowmeters via Modbus and reading the total flow that is accumulated at the flowmeter. These readings are being saved to a comma seperated variable (CSV) file on a compact flash card installed in the DSP. Finally, the CSV file is made available to the billing company via the built in file transfer protocol (FTP) server in the DSP. Industrial protocol communications, data logging and FTP are all standard features of the DSP, not to mention the built in web server and protocol conversion tools that were not needed for this application. Control Point Inc. was able to solve what could have been an expensive application with a simple, cost effective piece of hardware.
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