Case Studies

Waste Water Treatment SCADA

Customer: City of La Crosse, WI

Project Scope: The existing SCADA system was developed and running on the Microsoft XP operating system. The Microsoft XP OS was due to expire and, without support, the SCADA system was deemed insecure. In addition, the existing software was out of date, the system was labor intensive to maintain, it was slow to respond, and it had limited deployment and expansion capabilities, including the capability to communicate directly to Allen Bradley Compact & Control Logix processors. The waste water management team wanted a new platform that was operating system independent, scalable, web-based, server centric, database driven, redundant capable, and flexible.

Project Design: The waste water management team chose Industrial Automation to provide a complete Ignition solution for the new SCADA replacement system. The control system consists of more than a dozen Allen Bradley SLC, Compact logic, and Micrologix PLC’s. The SCADA system polls approximately 6500 OPC tags from these controllers with a scan rate of 1-2.5 seconds. It utilizes a MSSQL Database server for historical and real-time data storage. Inductive Automations “Mission Critical” software packaged was installed. The Master and Redundant Ignition gateways were installed on Windows platform OS’s. Many additional client machines running Windows OS’s are utilized for SCADA, LIMS, and reporting.

The management team wanted the Ignition design to “appear” on the front end like the old system, but to use the capabilities inherent to the Ignition platform for enhanced performance and reliability under the hood. The trending capabilities of Ignition were an area of great satisfaction. What was once cumbersome and inaccurate is now easy to use, flexible, and customizable. The speed and response time of Ignition control system was also a great improvement over the old system.

The project also included a “laboratory and instrumentation management system” (LIMS) component. What was once an isolated, slow, and hard to use system is now easily deployed to any machine on the waste water network, fast to respond, more accurate, and more user friendly. Ignition’s standard components were utilized to build these windows, including the ability to create and update records in the SQL Database. Custom components with scripting were also added to allow for the windows to be easily updated and modified.

Project Results: The installed Ignition project delivers the reliability, speed, and availability as promised and more. The management team is pleased with the installation and the ability to update and change the project on the fly. Knowing that the Ignition system is not dependent on any specific operating systems removes machine dependency concerns. System reliability has been tested and verified by shutting down the master Ignition server and allowing the backup to take over. This process takes less than 5 seconds for the backup server to take complete control of the SCADA system. Additional alarm notification was scripted into the system to monitor the database traffic. The number of pending and quarantined records are monitored and alarmed if outside the allotted threshold.