Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System 9/27/05

By Control Engineering Staff September 27, 2005

September 27, 2005

Last week, chance meetings with maintenance personnel reviewing thePhase II drawings indicated that there were numerous scope and technicalissues to be resolved. Left unaddressed, we could find ourselves in aposition that no matter how well we performed on the contract, the citywould be unhappy.

To address this problem, we helped the city develop a punch list of their concerns.Discussion of the rebid of Phase I and this list became the agenda for ourmeeting with city maintenance personnel and the primary engineering consultant.

It was agreed that employing standard Ethernet communications is thepreferred architecture. The primary consultant expressed a strongpreference for RTU and local HMI units to be selected from among the major PLCmanufacturers, for reasons of reliability and support. Our experience has been that alarge installed base is the most important barometer of future hardware support.

We have found that the biggest problem for our customers with local HMIsystems is their short design life–typically 5 to 10 years is the average HMI life span beforea complete software redesign is required for the next generation of hardware and/or software.For local HMI devices, it is now possible to buycommoditized WinCE-based touchscreen displays that will run WinCE versionsof graphical interface programs from several major HMI software vendors.Using this platform, the local and main SCADA HMI systems can be designed tomaintain the same look and feel, lowering the learning curve for operators.