I/O solution helps provide safe drinking water

14 March 2011

Moore Industries has recently helped a water plant in central New York to maximise its effectiveness while reducing costs. A distributed I/O and remote I/O solution has helped the Onondaga County Water Authority (OCWA) to modernise the control system at its water treatment plant in Marcellus, N.Y.

Automation systems at the facility control processes which ensure the quality of the treated water and compliance with state health department and EPA regulations. In order to update its operations and increase efficiency, the OCWA decided to switch from analog remote terminal units (RTUs) to digital control systems through an online SCADA system powered by Ethernet and MODBUS network communications.

Moore Industries assisted with the implementation of its new NET Concentrator system, which was implemented by delivering isolated I/O modules which eliminate potential signal loop interference from the Ethernet control network. The I/O modules within the NET Concentrator System contain ground loops or other individual aberrations locally, stopping them from impacting other readings at the site. The new system also reduced total wiring by transmitting process control and monitoring signals across a single digital communications link.

“Having isolated I/O modules was critical to the success of our facility control process upgrades,” said OCWA executive engineer Geoffrey G. Miller “This system allows our technicians to view I/O directly from the plant through a local HMI or laptop. Doing this has saved us time and money by reducing trips to the field.”

Installing the NET Concentrator system helped the OCWA solve several data collection problems. The ability to monitor the water filtration beds in real time has improved operator reaction time and increased efficiency. In addition, it is a reliable solution in reducing overhead related to hard wiring and maintenance.

“With modern I/O modules there is no reason for plants to rely on analog signals which require expensive wiring that often fails,” said Moore Industries senior field applications engineer Jim McConahay. “Working with the OCWA, we developed a solution that is scalable, cost-effective and improves the ability of engineers to receive and analyze data and make mission-critical decisions.”

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