Professional Service Agreements

by Guest Blogger Nan Johnson VP Municipal Systems The professional services agreement is a negotiated agreement that provides the municipality with a path to have a qualified systems integrator under contract to provide support for the water/wastewater plant control systems as well as their collection and distribution telemetry systems.  Selection of an integrator may be…

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Industrial IT & Networks, Part II

By Guest Blogger, Marc Handley This month we will focus on Network optimization. This is a very broad topic to cover so I will only cover a few of the areas that we see the most concerns with. Network Infrastructure There are many technologies that can offer you optimization in your network, starting with your…

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Industrial IT & Networks, Part 1

Industrial IT is an area where we are seeing increased interest from our customer base. This as control systems and their supporting networks become ever more sophisticated, more critical to plant operations, and more integrated into higher level business systems to aid in business optimization and critical decision making. Because of this growing interest and…

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Google to Use Alabama Site for New Data Center

Google has chosen Jackson County as the site for a $600 million data center that will be built on 350 acres of land on the former Widows Creek coal plant. The land is owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority. According to a release from the Alabama Department of Commerce, the data center could create up to…

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FEED Plus: Assuring Good Migration Projects

There are many reasons legacy control systems migration projects go bad. These include incomplete or inaccurate drawings, the wrong team, lack of guidance, poor methodology, poor communications, and lack of teamwork. A FEED (front-end engineering & design) study is the starting point for preventing and avoiding these issues.  The FEED Plus study takes this process…

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Cellular vs. Radio

by Guest Blogger Brandon Moseley As industry, cities, and businesses grow, it is a necessary evil to change nature to accommodate these expansions. Unfortunately, nature cannot always be forced to cooperate with man. Sometimes, man has to work around what already exists. Trees may not always be able to be cut down. Mountains and caverns…

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VFDs: an Overview

by Guest Blogger Jeremy Ruppert (photo courtesy of ABB/Google) There are many ways to make a system more efficient, but this post will address ways a variable frequency drive can improve a customer’s pump performance, lower costs, and extend the life of the equipment. Though initially not the cheapest option, a VFD can save the end-user…

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Design-Build in the Control System Environment

Design-build is a project delivery system that can shorten project schedules by up to 30%. It is a comprehensive process that includes planning, design, and construction needed to execute a particular project. In the traditional usage, it may incorporate architecture, engineering, and contracting disciplines. In the industrial automation and controls environment (our world), design-build is more narrowly described…

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Legacy Control System Migration Part II

legacy-II-600 In Part I of our series, we discussed the definition of legacy controls migration and the reasons it has become a critical issue in many plants. This segment will address other issues related to implementing such a migration strategy. Developing a Migration Plan: Complete vs. Partial Although an immediate full migration would be the most effective remedy…

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