OPC Integrates Best-in-Class Products

Feb. 21, 2007
A major Florida water and wastewater treatment complex deploys OPC trending solutions from Canary Labs to integrate multi-vendor products for a better overall system.
The city of Boca Raton, Florida, has always been at the forefront of advanced drinking water and wastewater treatment plants. Residents rely on the world’s largest operational membrane softening process facility, located at the Utility Services complex, 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.Recently, the Utility Services facility 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 existing control system’s historical data collection.After an investigation, Utility Services determined that by utilizing OPC-enabled solutions, multi-vendor products 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 solution for the 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 Windows Server 2003 R2 x64 Edition and is utilizing approximately 3 percent of the CPU resources while collecting 132 Mbytes per day. The Historian is connected via OPC to four GE Fanuc iFix supervisory control and data acquisition nodes, including 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. Within the system there are also eight Rockwell Automation programmable logic controllers (PLCs), 33 Bristol Babcock 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 Sytech’s 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 by providing more choices and options as future needs arise.For more information on OPC-based solutions from Canary Labs, visit www.canarylabs.com.

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