- Leveraging EECBG funding from the Recovery Act funds, the water reclamation authority tied its EAM solution to its SCADA data and was able to reduce energy consumption, exceeding project expectations by almost fourfold.
The City of Des Moines, Iowa, is the contracting operator of the region wastewater reclamation authority (WRA). It operates a treatment facility that processes the wastewater from an area of 16 entities that encompasses several counties, municipalities and sewer districts. It serves an area with a population of more than 500,000 and treats more than 26 billion gallons of wastewater annually. It produces more than 55,000 tons of biosolids, which are dispersed on more than 1,000 acres.
The treatment facility is located on 77 acres and was constructed in 1987 and handles treatment from preliminary stages through secondary treatment and disinfection, including biosolids production and disposal. It has a maintenance department of 26 with an annual maintenance budget of approximately $3.5 million. The maintenance organization has been progressive using advanced maintenance software for almost two decades, starting with MP2 from Datastream. It upgraded to MP7, now Enterprise EAM from Infor (www.infor.com) several years ago. In 2010, driven by the desire to improve its energy efficiency, it embarked on a project using EECBG funding from the Recovery Act funds to integrate its supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and enterprise asset management (EAM) applications to enable that objective. The project was initiated in July 2010 and went online in January of 2011.
The project, referred to as the Continuous Commissioning and Energy Efficiency project had several key goals:
- Create data integration between the EAM and SCADA applications/systems
- Establish and configure energy and condition monitoring capabilities within the EAM
- Analyze energy usage trends for high energy use assets
- Identify energy savings opportunities
The key project activities were:
- Identify “pilot” equipment items and available data points (referred to as tags)
- Establish a data structure for integration and then design and implement said integration
- Upgrade to Infor Enterprise EAM Asset Sustainability Edition (ASE)
- Establish trend and analysis reporting
Due to the long and established relationship and investment with Datastream and then Infor, the WRA did not pursue alternative EAM solutions, explains Dan Miklovic, senior research advisor, Sustainable Collaborations Group (www.sustainablecollaborations.com), a sustainability management research firm. The desire to upgrade to the EAM ASE was driven by the tools available in the ASE to facilitate energy monitoring and reporting. Other key applications relevant to the project included the Rockwell Software FactoryTalk SCADA/HMI system and the Hach WIMS application (Hach Water Information System, www.hach.com/im).
The project was able to set up its test environment by September 2010 and was able to go live with its first operational phase in January 2011. Initial targets were the three highest energy use systems:
- Four 2,000 hp air blowers
- Six 700 hp pumps
- Nine 100 hp sludge return pumps
Initial project objectives were to reduce energy usage by roughly 200,000 KW which equates to savings of more than $40,000 annually.
The WRA performed all of the integration work itself leveraging the capabilities within the Infor Enterprise EAM ASE and other applications. It did not need to rely on external service providers to complete the integration.
Actual results achieved in less than six months are on track to save almost four times the original projections. Energy consumption has been reduced by 100,000 KW in the first half year, leading to $20,000 in savings already.
Initial plans were to optimize performance of target assets, but it was discovered that, in the case of the four 2000 hp blowers, just knowing which units were operating most efficiently and using those units as the primary air movers provided results exceeding initial project goals.
Rather than immediately pursue optimal performance in all assets it is often enough, as a first step to to upgrade the performance of the other units to be as good as the best performing unit. Understanding what you are doing well already can contribute significant returns.
Being able to detect process deterioration is of high value. Establishing a dashboard of key performance indicators (KPIs) was essential in understanding which assets to focus on next (Figure 1).
By creating a dashboard of key performance indicators, the WRA was able to determine which assets to target.
Future plans are to expand the application to other areas of WRA operations including cogeneration facilities. Project success has interested other asset-intensive operations within the city of Des Moines in pursuing similar activities.
To improve the ability to reduce energy consumption an enterprise can take several steps, says Bill Miller, CMM, MMC, MRO, ASE-EAM system administrator, facilities management, City of Des Moines WRF. “Pursue a strategy similar to the Des Moines WRA and integrate SCADA and EAM applications while implementing dashboards to identify asset performance related to energy usage,” he suggests. “Identify key integration points and upgrade software to the most recent versions to facilitate that integration. Also, focus on the largest opportunities first, and then progressively smaller opportunities. Success breeds support. Set objectives at a level that is clearly achievable, but which adequately justify the investment and then over-deliver.”
Don’t obsess over optimum, says Miller. “Just getting all assets to perform at the level of the currently best-performing asset is often enough to produce results sufficient to gain buy-in,” he says. “Once parity is achieved, start working on continuous improvement. Finally, invest in internal skills development. The city of Des Moines was able to complete the project in less than one year, from grant approval, due to its strong internal skills base. Where skills do not exist, be prepared to invest in appropriate skills augmentation by external service providers but make it a learning opportunity.”
The key to success lies in the integration of process data with asset data, says Miller. Understanding the root causes of performance shortfalls and sustaining corrective actions rely on tying the process control application to the maintenance applications. Without that integration any improvements will be transient, at best, he says.