Net­work for a water tre­at­ment plant

The Höchen­schwan­der­berg water uti­li­ty asso­cia­ti­on in the sou­thern Black Forest sup­plies around 24,000 inha­bi­tants with drin­king water from its three deep wells. The con­trol tech­no­lo­gy nee­ded to be moder­ni­zed – using intel­li­gent solu­ti­ons and estab­lished tech­no­lo­gy

Mayor Ste­fan Dorf­meis­ter and his water­wor­kers

The effec­tive con­trol of pumps is the cen­tral task of the water sup­ply faci­li­ty in the sou­thern Black Forest. This is hard­ly sur­pri­sing, becau­se in the regi­on of Sankt Bla­si­en and Höchen­schwand through to the city of Walds­hut-Tien­gen the­re are two val­leys with an alti­tu­de dif­fe­rence of some 360 meters to be nego­tia­ted. Many of the more than 18 ele­va­ted tanks have been in use for over six deca­des. The
pipe­line net­work here alo­ne covers around 65 kilo­me­ters.
In addi­ti­on to topo­gra­phi­cal chal­len­ges, unfa­vor­able wea­ther con­di­ti­ons, hea­vy rain­fall, and mel­t­wa­ter often also pre­sent chal­len­ges in main­tai­ning high drin­king water qua­li­ty.

The water uti­li­ty asso­cia­ti­on is moder­ni­zing its sys­tems in a con­ti­nuous pro­gram sta­ged over several years. The­re­fo­re, the water uti­li­ty asso­cia­ti­on pla­ces gre­at value on sys­temic open­ness, as well as on the simp­le con­fi­gu­ra­ti­on of the visua­li­za­ti­on tech­no­lo­gy and effi­ci­ent pro­gramming of the con­trol­lers. The asso­cia­ti­on chair­man, Mayor Ste­fan Dorf­meis­ter, exp­lains. “It should be pos­si­ble for our employees to imple­ment the ope­ra­ti­on and the upco­m­ing sys­tem exten­si­ons them­sel­ves.” Fur­ther­mo­re, not only will the exis­ting sys­tems be moder­ni­zed, but new visua­li­za­ti­on soft­ware will also be instal­led.

Fle­xi­ble data feeds

Visu+ 2 from Phoe­nix Con­tact is the­re­fo­re being used in the sou­thern Black Forest. This is easy to con­nect to the con­trol­lers of dif­fe­rent manu­fac­tu­rers, exp­lains Dipl-Ing. Hans- Jür­gen Fie­ne. The expert from Phoe­nix Con­tact exp­lains, “Thanks to nati­ve com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on dri­vers, con­trol­lers from dif­fe­rent manu­fac­tu­rers can be con­nec­ted effi­ci­ent­ly and direc­t­ly to the visua­li­za­ti­on soft­ware. This enab­les Visu+ 2 to access the data from the alrea­dy instal­led S7-300 head-end sta­ti­on from Sie­mens wit­hout inter­rupt­ing the data con­nec­tion to the pre­vious­ly used visua­li­za­ti­on sys­tem.”

The com­ple­te engi­nee­ring of the con­trol sys­tem, com­pri­sing the visua­li­za­ti­on, ana­ly­sis, and archi­ving of the data, signa­ling for the ope­ra­ting per­son­nel, and the com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on con­nec­tion to the PLC head-end sta­ti­on, was taken over by the employees of Phoe­nix Con­tact Deutsch­land GmbH at the request of the uti­li­ty asso­cia­ti­on. The ser­vice inclu­des set­ting up the PC sys­tem and instal­ling it on site. All soft­ware solu­ti­ons and the alarm por­tal are instal­led on an indus­tri­al PC sys­tem of the type BL RACKMOUNT 4U from Phoe­nix Con­tact.

Inde­pen­dent workers

Upon suc­cess­ful com­mis­sio­ning, the water spe­cia­lists trai­ned the employees of the uti­li­ty asso­cia­ti­on over a peri­od of several days. This ensu­red the desi­red level of inde­pen­dence, becau­se the main­ten­an­ce and ope­ra­ting per­son­nel are now able to rea­li­ze opti­mi­za­ti­ons effi­ci­ent­ly and to keep the sys­tems up to date with the latest tech­no­lo­gy.

A par­ti­cu­lar chal­len­ge is that the exter­nal struc­tures – that is to say the pum­ping sta­ti­ons and ele­va­ted tanks – are to be con­trol­led and moni­to­red by the new con­trol sys­tem. Sin­ce the uti­li­ty asso­cia­ti­on has its own cable net­work, albeit one which is more than 50 years old, Phoe­nix Con­tact is able to rea­li­ze exten­si­ve IP net­works through the use of Ether­net exten­der devices. Line lengths of up to 20 kilo­me­ters per path are pos­si­ble with the­se. Thanks to the repea­ter func­tion of the Ether­net exten­ders, even lon­ger over­all line lengths can be brid­ged. The data can be for­war­ded secu­re­ly via the exis­ting cable con­nec­tions, becau­se the data trans­mis­si­on signals are con­di­tio­ned in each sec­tion of the path.
The water uti­li­ty is using the ACX 1050 small-sca­le con­trol­ler to inte­gra­te the field devices into the net­work. In the pre­sent con­fi­gu­ra­ti­on, this is fed with data from Dan­foss fre­quen­cy con­ver­ters and Kroh­ne elec­tro­ma­gne­tic water meters, among other sources. The field devices are con­nec­ted via the Water­worx pro­cess libra­ry.

All data avail­ab­le at the con­trol cabi­net

An addi­tio­nal requi­re­ment is that the employees are also to have an over­view of the ent­i­re sup­ply area even from the exter­nal faci­li­ties. They should be able to call up coun­ter values and mea­su­red values, as well as adjust pump con­trol­lers, for examp­le, by acces­sing the con­trol sys­tem – wit­hout the need for someo­ne to be at the main con­trol cen­ter. This chal­len­ge is over­co­me with the WLAN 1100 access point, a com­ple­te WLAN solu­ti­on that com­bi­nes a wire­less modu­le with two anten­nas.
The employees can use this to con­nect to the con­trol sys­tem via smart­pho­ne, tablet, or lap­top. This means they can quick­ly iden­ti­fy and cor­rect any errors that ari­se in the event of a mal­func­tion.
A char­ming fea­ture of the Black Forest water tre­at­ment plants: with the WLAN solu­ti­on, the con­trol cabi­net does not need to be ope­ned during the inspec­tion. If an employee is wit­hin ran­ge of the WLAN point, he can call up the ope­ra­ting data.

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