Self-contained pumping station has enclosed control room

Automation Integrator Guide case study: Designing a control room for a self-contained pumping station was a tight-fitting challenge. See photo gallery.

11/13/2013


Enclosed pumping station design included a 3 ft x 10 ft walkway left for the operator. It was a tight yet extremely operator friendly layout. Courtesy: TW ControlsWhen most of us think of the ultimate control room, we visualize well-lit rooms with comfy chairs for the operator and huge monitors to report the status of our control systems. But for many customers, they are automating a process so that they don't have to deal with the day-to-day operations of systems.

When Optima Properties wanted to build a private waterfront community at Smith Mountain Lake in Union Hall, Va., it was looking for a solution that was completely out of sight and out of mind.

By the time Apptech Solutions LLC approached TW Controls LLC with the idea of enclosing a control room inside one of its vessels, it had already perfected burying 40-ft-long steel reinforced polyethylene vessels for many uses, such as pumping stations and fully self-contained waste treatment systems. In addition to a longer service life compared to conventional systems, these can be installed in less than one week on site compared to four weeks to install a conventional system due to the fact that most of the fabrication can be done at the manufacturing facility.

Limited size, operator friendly

Controls consist of PLC, HMI, monitoring, and alarm notification via e-mail, data logging for analytical reporting and transmission via cell modem, and optional web server. Courtesy: TW ControlsApptech designed the station with an additional 10 ft section that would be completely sealed off from the rest of the vessel. Behind this wall is 14,000 gal of storage capacity. Even on a small system, an 8 ft diameter pipe 10 ft long fills up fast. Lighting was installed, provisions were made for heating and cooling the section, and piping was arranged for long-term ease of maintenance. By the time it was all installed, there was a 3 ft x 10 ft walkway left for the operator. It was a tight yet extremely operator friendly layout.

Controls consist of an Automation Direct PLC and Red Lion HMI. Normal operator intervention is not necessary. On initial start-up, operating parameters that the system will run within must be entered and then the system can run autonomously after that.

System parameters are monitored and can notify the proper person in the event of an alarm via optional e-mail.

Data is logged for analytical reporting and can be transmitted to a remote location via optional cell modem.

Pumping stations need valves. The enclosed pumping station has 14,000 gal of holding capacity. Courtesy: TW ControlsThe control system also has an optional web server that allows for remote monitoring of the current condition of the system via a standard web browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome.

Once landscaping around the vessel is complete, the only evidence of this system will be a camouflaged door and a few green manhole covers along a rolling field of grass. While this may not be what a system integrator would consider the ultimate control room, it is a land developer's dream.

- Tim Wilborne, owner, TW Controls LLC. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer, mhoske(at)cfemedia.com.

www.twcontrols.com 

ONLINE

Choosing the right integrator: 3 categories of needs

The self-contained pumping station arrived on-site on a flatbed. Courtesy: TW ControlsA crane moved the pumping station into position. Courtesy: TW ControlsHere the pumping station is lowered onto the prepared pad. Courtesy: TW ControlsScenic surroundings show why putting the pumping station underground is desirable. Courtesy: TW ControlsEntrance of the pumping station shows completed grading on-site. Courtesy: TW Controls



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.