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Building Better Solutions by Using Multiple Vendors

A municipal water treatment facility uses OPC products from Canary Labs to connect best-in-class systems and create a solution that allows operators, engineers and management to share information in a collaborative environment.

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The city of Boca Raton, Florida, has always been at the forefront of advanced drinking water and wastewater treatment plants. Residents rely on the Utility Services complex, which is the largest operational membrane softening process facility in the world, for their high quality drinking water. The wastewater plant is also state-of-the-art, with the treatment capacity to meet demands expected beyond the year 2020.

Utility Services was struggling with its historical data collection system. When plant management was trying to find the root cause of problems or was looking for ways to improve a process, the data needed was not available due to the limited capabilities and reliability of the historical data collection of the existing control system.

After an investigation, Utility Services’ management determined that by utilizing OPC-enabled products, products from multiple vendors could be integrated smoothly to provide a better overall system solution. It was decided that the OPC-compliant Trend Historian and trending tools from Canary Labs, based in Martinsburg, Pa., were the best solutions for the application’s needs. Richard Horta, Senior Analyst of Process Control states, “I was really impressed with the ease of use of the Canary products, easy setup procedures and the performance and file management of the Trend Historian. The Canary technical support team also provided first-class service and help when I needed it.”

The Canary Historian is currently archiving 19,067 tags (10,788 from the water plant and 8,279 from the wastewater plant) at a one-second update rate. The system is running on a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 x64 Edition and is utilizing approximately three percent of the CPU resources while collecting 132 megabytes of data per day. The Historian is connected via OPC to four GE Fanuc iFix SCADA nodes (two for the water plant and two for wastewater). The Canary Labs ActiveX Trend Link Viewer is embedded within 15 iFix View nodes on the system. Also connected to the system are 8 Allen Bradley-brand programmable logic controllers (PLCs), 33 Bristol Babcock distributed control units (DCUs) and 266 Radio remote terminal units (RTUs).

Since the Canary Historian includes a compliant OPC-HDA server, other key packages are able to plug-and-play with the historian to generate critical reports for the Sytech XLReporter package and provide historical data integrated with TIPS Alarms and Management system.

OPC and the Canary software packages have allowed the system operators, process engineers, and management supervisors to communicate and share information in a collaborative environment. OPC has allowed the city of Boca Raton to increase its productivity and better protect investment with more choices and options as future needs arise.

For more information about historical trending solutions from Canary Labs, visit
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Discover solutions from 2,000+ exhibitors to advance your operations and network with colleagues at PACK EXPO International, Oct 23-26.
Where the Entire Industry Meets