Emerson Process Management recently announced that its Bristol® ControlWave® remote terminal unit (RTU) technology has been fully integrated into its Ovation® SCADA platform, translating into a number of benefits for municipalities and investor-owned utilities. These benefits include better management of distributed systems and remote sites, improved water/wastewater process control reliability, and reduced operations and maintenance (O&M) costs.
Traditionally, SCADA systems poll RTUs for information either at specified time intervals or on demand. With the tight integration of the Bristol ControlWave RTU, the Ovation SCADA platform now features a configurable polling mechanism. This allows operators the option of having the RTUs send data directly to the SCADA server or central Ovation control system only when values change. Not typically available from other SCADA suppliers, this “report by exception” messaging scheme not only optimizes bandwidth but also provides real-time alarming of remote sites.
The Ovation SCADA system now also offers users access to more data than was available previously. If configured for periodic polling, the Ovation SCADA solution with ControlWave RTU technology has the capability to buffer and time stamp data – including alarms – then send it directly to the Ovation historian so that no data is “lost” in the event of a communication failure. Conversely, when most other SCADA systems are configured to transmit data during specific time intervals, only a “snapshot” of information is relayed back to the SCADA server. This is less than optimal, as alarms or other abnormalities can be missed if they take place between polling intervals or during a communication outage.
The availability of better and more complete information through the integrated Ovation SCADA solution is advantageous for early detection of equipment failure, more efficient deployment of field crews, and provides a higher degree of data integrity for helping to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.
The integrated Ovation SCADA solution also offers enhanced reliability features unique to Emerson. These include fault-tolerant data transmission through redundant communication schemes as well as an additional security mechanism that ensures the RTU is communicating only with the SCADA server or central Ovation control system and not being intercepted by an outside source.
Emerson’s Ovation SCADA solution is part of the company’s broad portfolio of automation, analytical and optimization solutions for the water/wastewater industry. These include the PlantWeb® digital plant architecture which leverages the Ovation control system, Bristol ControlWave RTU technology, AMS® Suite of predictive maintenance software, intelligent field devices, valve automation and asset optimization solutions. The end result is a single seamless system that integrates real-time process and equipment information with transaction-based enterprise business systems. A number of major metropolitan areas – including Detroit, Chicago, San Diego and Washington, D.C., as well as smaller municipalities – rely on Emerson’s scalable Ovation SCADA solutions to oversee their water and wastewater infrastructures.
“We understand the operational, regulatory and financial issues facing the water and wastewater industries and know that efficiently and expertly managing water and wastewater treatment processes and systems plays an important role in enabling municipalities and investor-owned utilities to effectively address these challenges,” said Bob Yeager, president of the Power & Water Solutions division of Emerson. “The availability of our enhanced SCADA capabilities is indicative of Emerson’s ongoing commitment to embracing and integrating the latest technologies so that organizations are able to best serve their communities not only today, but well into the future.”