Modern SCADA Improves Operations Across Three Water Districts

June 9, 2022

Ignition Perspective was a big improvement over the previous SCADA system for the Warren, Simpson, and Butler County water districts in Kentucky.


Vertech was brought into this project to provide a world-class automation solution for the three water districts. The limitations of the existing iFix system left little flexibility to grow and scale up the number of active clients and provide insight for service technicians carrying out growing operational imperatives. Analyzing and grouping data from the existing SCADA was too time-consuming and tedious to analyze at the frequency needed to best drive improvement. Thus, a solution was needed that could match the existing and future needs of the districts while operating in an unrestricted and dynamic way. This would ultimately allow for easier commissioning and analysis of new equipment being brought online to match the needs of the area.


Vertech solved this problem using Ignition. By leveraging Ignition Perspective and its associated modules and components, Vertech was able to create a sleek and modern interface that provided new insights and methods to gain operational intelligence in the field, minimizing operational complexity and variability, and promoting enthusiastic adoption of a new system. Vertech built the solution in parallel with the existing SCADA, and balanced the load factor on devices being polled at remote sites via radio telemetry. This allowed for a tiered adoption strategy and maintained reliability of both SCADA systems, allowing Warren Water to phase out the old system at its discretion.

The project was implemented across 131 separate stations and included 48,252 tags, 164 screens, 20 clients, and 1,705 alarms. 


The new system created a viable way for the districts to view and control any level of equipment from a singular interface while introducing data insights on network reliability and system performance down to a granular level. This allowed improvement to truly originate from the bottom up as operators became more acquainted with the nuances of the system and used it to convey data insights through dynamic reports and annotated charting. Vertech also benefited greatly in this process by refining and improving its offering of web-based water SCADA systems and leveraging the operational experience and procedural skills of the three water districts.

The time spent analyzing alarm frequency and equipment damage to spot problem areas and plan maintenance ahead of time has been greatly reduced. What would take multiple operators several hours is now nearly instantaneous with the reporting and alarm history capabilities of Ignition. The once-tedious process of having to format and transfer data from the SCADA system to a human-composed report is now entirely automatic and historized. Ultimately, applying Ignition Perspective has created not only an effective modern SCADA system, but also a new standard in the pursuit of operational excellence.

In summary, the new Ignition Perspective system proved to be a big improvement over the previous SCADA system for the water districts. The new system has much more flexibility and scalability, allowing it to keep up with the districts’ needs as they continue to expand.

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