Turnkey Measurement & Control on a DIY Budget
The Best Operators
he best treatment operators are masters of their craft. You are responsible for critical infrastructure that supports the health and well-being of the people in your community. You have to get it right every day because quality of life for hundreds and even thousands of people depends on you. The demands of your job require expertise in chemistry, biology, personnel management and computer technology. That is a lot of responsibility on one set of shoulders in a rapidly-changing and ever more demanding world. All of this has to be balanced with your financial responsibilities. And there is often pressure from town hall to go cheap rather than smart when it comes to your measurement and control technology.
An educated treatment operator understands that smart measurement and control systems are more cost-effective than merely cheap ones. In the same way, cheap measurement and control is rarely smart.
Turnkey vs. Prepackaged SCADA
The significant benefits of automated measurement & control are well-established for water and wastewater treatment operations. Computerized reporting, trend analysis, intelligent alarming, process optimization and remote monitoring & control from mobile devices are just a few of the many benefits that automation brings to a treatment operation. But the cost of effective automation is often an obstacle.
Most municipalities opt for turnkey solutions. The convenience and lower risk of this type of project make them attractive to operators. But this comes with a price. Turnkey systems usually require multiple service providers: Engineering firms to design the control strategy, a contractor to build and install the panels, electricians to do the plant wiring and a SCADA firm to program the HMI. Engineering firms, contractors, SCADA technicians and electricians are all valuable and essential members of any project team. But they each come with their own cost and coordinating them requires a significant project management effort.
Some municipalities consider prepackaged SCADA solutions as a cheap alternative to turnkey systems. These DIY projects are attractive because of their perceived low cost. But they are only cheap to buy. Experienced operators know that the “Y” in DIY will pay a price in terms of time, attention, frustration and unnecessary exposure to professional risk. Furthermore, the limited capability and lack of customization provided by DIY systems limit their usefulness, future expandability and user satisfaction. After all the effort required, the “Y” in DIY is often disappointed.
An Innovative Partnership that Works
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an option somewhere between these two extremes. What if you could get the benefits of a full-featured and customizable measurement and control system closer to DIY budget? What if you could leverage your strengths and purchase only the services you need? Many municipalities have experienced and qualified staff who are very capable of performing some project tasks but rarely all of them. What if you could find a partner who had the missing pieces to help you?
A Partner who Works for You
A municipal water operator was in need of automation for an existing water treatment plant. The limitations of manual operation were apparent and they needed to upgrade. And while a turnkey solution would have been ideal, the city only had a DIY budget. Utilities management knew that a DIY solution would have have been risky and provided only limited usefulness. Fortunately they had a partner who could help them build a modern, full-featured and customized SCADA within their budgetary limitations.
The plant operator had a thorough understanding of their process, qualified electricians and project management capabilities. But they wanted help developing a control strategy, building the panels and programming the HMI. While they could have developed these capabilities in-house, they wanted to focus on more important things, like water production. A partnership with Instrulogic allowed the utility operator to do what they did best by having us do the parts they didn’t want to do. As a result, they obtained a modern full-featured measurement and control system customized for their needs for about about half the cost of a traditional turnkey project.
The Instrulogic Advantage
Instrulogic offers advanced measurement and control solutions to fit any budget. With over 25 years of measurement and control experience and as the industry leader in SCADA innovation, Instrulogic is committed to discovering and implementing the most cost-effective solutions for all of your measurement and control needs.
Find out what Instrulogic can help you to do on your budget.