Making an Operator’s Life Simple
Did you know that you can connect your existing SCADA system to FlowWorks? Why would you want to do this? The first reaction that many people have is “we already have a SCADA system, why would we want to use FlowWorks?” Because FlowWorks is not just for dataloggers, and it does a lot more than just store and plot data. Think of some of the things you could be doing with your SCADA data if you used FlowWorks to do it…
If you are in the municipal business, odds are that you have a SCADA system. You probably also have some dataloggers and maybe some sewer flow meters. Wouldn’t it be nice to put all of that data into one place? Do you want to easily plot flow data from your treatment plant SCADA with rainfall data collected by your dataloggers? How about adding some laboratory measurement results along side? If you use FlowWorks, you can do this.
Plus, if you want, the data flow can go BACKWARDS from FlowWorks to your SCADA! What if you use FlowWorks to collect rainfall from some rain gauge dataloggers, but your SCADA also collects rainfall data? The two can give data to each other, so you and your users see the complete dataset! Core staff who use SCADA see valuable information, using the interface that they are used to. At the same time, data from SCADA (which is often difficult to distribute to users outside of the SCADA system) is made available to a larger set of users. No more having to deal with different data formats because some of your data came from the SCADA, some came datalogger brand X and yet other info came from Brand Y.
Setup Personal Alarms
Use the FlowWorks alarming system to setup notifications for other purposes that aren’t mission critical SCADA alarms…maybe you need to know when flows at a treatment plant reach a certain point so you can take a sample…or it’s time to photograph potential flooding at a drainage location…or maybe you want to know the next time a chlorine analyzer shows a low value so that you can go and take a sample to verify it. These are all things that you can do but might not have SCADA alarms setup for…with FlowWorks you can create your OWN notifications without requiring your SCADA staff to setup these alarms for you.
Your OWN Notifications
Yes, that’s what I said – this is a big deal. In FlowWorks, each user can customize their alarms and notifications, independent of anyone else. This can help you do your job more efficiently, the way you want to do it, and without extra corporate overhead that is so often required.
Use the reporting functions to produce tables for your reports…total water consumption, water quality reporting, rainfall summaries and statistics, pump run times, chemical injection summaries…if your SCADA system has been measuring it there is something that FlowWorks can do to make it more useful to you. Why record it if you can’t use it for anything?
SCADA Data Security and FlowWorks
FlowWorks provides data viewing and analysis tools only. There are no control functions that would be in a typical SCADA setup. This means that when you are viewing data sent to FlowWorks from your SCADA system, it is a mirrored COPY of the data rather than the original data itself. In this way the finite control details of your system are protected from the user, leaving your system and network ultimately secure.
Do you have information that you want to distribute to a larger group of users, but due to security concerns over your SCADA system you can’t do it? If your SCADA system is connected to FlowWorks then you get the best of both worlds…your SCADA system stays locked behind your corporate security, but the data that you want to distribute to others is made available. FlowWorks CANNOT be used to alter data or access your SCADA system and controls in any way.
In the meantime, you and other FlowWorks users within your organization enjoy simple, unlimited access to the information you need, from anywhere with an internet connection. Even if the only thing you use your SCADA system for is to graph data, I guarantee you that FlowWorks will do a better job than your SCADA graphing engine.