Case Study: Water Filtration Process Automation

The Challenge

water treatment facilityIndiana American Water Company, a subsidiary of the largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company in the United States, is dedicated to delivering high-quality water and innovative solutions to customers in the Northwest Indiana area. Their existing legacy control systems at one of their water treatment facilities were limited in scope, required significant manual intervention, provided no process information, and had extremely limited scalability. IAWC had a desire to leverage advancements in technology that would provide a more robust, maintainable, and scalable system with improved overall performance, while providing access to information for more informed business decisions. They decided to partner with McEnery Automation to develop and implement a new, modern control system. The initial implementation involved control system migration of a filtration system which was scheduled for a major overhaul at one of their water treatment plants. The overhaul was to take place just before the busy summer season, when having filter downtime would be nearly impossible.

The Solution

McEnery Automation worked closely with customer representatives and their design engineers to fully understand their filtration process and the proper sequencing of all new and existing filter equipment for optimal filter operation. We then captured the process via flow diagrams and process definition documentation. Having a complete and detailed process definition would be critical to the success of the project. Next, our engineers designed and implemented a new control system architecture which would allow them to meet their goals. The control system architecture utilizes Rockwell Automation CompactLogix programmable automation controllers (PACs) with integration into their existing ControlNet I/O network. The controllers were integrated with ICONICS Genesis 32 SCADA package by leveraging Kepware communication technology. In order to achieve enhanced process optimization, ControlStation LoopPro Tuner, a Rockwell Automation Encompass Partner software, was incorporated into the system.

The Result

McEnery Automation’s methodologies of first understanding the customers’ needs, then defining and developing the system, and incorporating extensive and thorough simulation and testing, resulted in a project implementation that was completed ahead of the busy summer season, with minimal outage time. This allowed IAWC to continue serving their customers without issue. The new control system architecture, coupled with LoopPro’s data modeling capabilities, has enabled McEnery Automation and IAWC to increase the system’s accuracy and repeatability, while reducing energy usage and waste. The enhanced reporting capabilities provide key stakeholders with immediate access to key performance indicator information, allowing them make more efficient use of their time and make decisions which will help improve their operations. LoopPro’s data modeling capabilities allowed quick and accurate tuning of mission-critical PID loops, which resulting in process optimization and performance, and reduced energy usage.