Benefits & Myths of Industrial Automation Uncovered

Did you know that most modern water treatment controllers are capable of communicating remotely to U.S. Water? In fact, most controllers can also communicate directly into the web based reporting software U.S. Water Reports™. Enabling remote notifications and, in some cases, remote control have a significant beneficial impact on your water treatment program.

Some people are concerned that when using automation software they will lose control of their system. This is not the case. Think of automation as another set of eyes keeping watch over your system in a cost effective and efficient manner. Automation is intended to be a tool that allows the increased ability to manage chemicals, energy and manpower when properly used. Information gathered can help in trouble shooting equipment failure and can be predictive of future maintenance needs.

A common misconception about automation is that it is synonymous with automatic. This is a dangerous assumption because without monitoring and interpretation of the performance of your water treatment program, critical adjustments are not made and the process is not efficient. Control equipment and chemicals must always be overseen by a knowledgeable specialist.

Most water treatment controllers have some sort of remote notification feature. This means that you and/or your U.S. Water representative can receive immediate notification alarm conditions from the controller. Reacting to excursions quickly can prevent unplanned production down time. You should work with your U.S. Water representative to strictly define notification protocols and responsibilities.

In some cases, water treatment controllers allow remote control over some or all parameters. This can bring additional value in that changes may not require local interaction. If the customer permits, your U.S. Water representative may also make changes remotely without waiting until the next service visit.

Certain controllers made by Walchem, Hydro, Aquatrac, and Advantage are also capable of sending data directly to U.S. Water Reports. This is an excellent feature to leverage out of the web based software. Users can now see exactly what the controller is reporting upon logging into U.S. Water Reports. Additionally, data can be analyzed for important trends and compared against operator test data. Analyzing controller data can uncover events that are missed by analyzing operator data only such as ORP or pH spikes. This kind of information is extremely valuable when honing in on the ideal water treatment program.

Enabling remote communications is simple. Any controller capable of remote communications has an Ethernet connection. Just like your PC, simple plug a network cable into the controller with an active Internet connection. In most cases, this will allow for remote notification (outward communication) at a minimum. Additional network settings are required to enable remote control (incoming communication). It is always recommended that you consult your company’s IT department before adding any device to the network.

To learn more about your water treatment controller’s remote notification and control capabilities contact your U.S. Water representative.

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