Every second of every day, Hamilton City Council produces, on average, 228million glasses of high quality drinking water to over 51,000 homes and industrial premises around Hamilton in New Zealand’s North island.

This drinking water is treated, distributed, and managed by the Hamilton City Council to ensure water that reaches consumers is free from harmful organisms and meets water supply standards. 

This commitment to quality drinking water is also applied to the operation of the council’s Pukete Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), which services the rapidly growing population of over 150,000 people who live in the region. 

So when the decision was made to upgrade the plant’s existing SCADA system to improve their ability to securely store, analyse and report operational data, the FactoryTalk® Integrated Production and Performance Suite from Rockwell Automation and NHP was the perfect fit.

More than a decade ago Rockwell Automation provided the Hamilton City Council with the software suite for its previous supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. 

However, the RSView® 32 system had become outdated and inefficient for compliance with modern-day regulatory requirements set out by the New Zealand Government. 

Automation and Electrical Manager at Hamilton City Council, Gary Pitcaithy, said, “Our previous system was outdated and we required an upgrade to help simplify the process of complying with current water regulations in New Zealand. 

“Not only that, but we identified the potential for improving operational efficiency at the plant by implementing an integrated system that aims to increase productivity and reduce downtime.”

Hamilton City Council utilised the FactoryTalk software suite when implementing an upgrade to their SCADA system at the plant. This enhanced the ability of key stakeholders to make informed decisions, improve performance efficiency and meet regulatory compliance.

A key aim of the upgrade was to deliver a system with the ability to retain 10 years of data in a stable and reliable manner. 

At the same time, the system would need to provide operational efficiency compared with the previous operating system, while also maintaining a secure environment only accessible by authorised stakeholders. 

To ensure this objective was met, Hamilton City Council engaged NHP and Rockwell Automation to provide the latest versions of the FactoryTalk suite, which then formed the integral element of an upgrade to its system. 

“The FactoryTalk software suite has enabled our team to be more flexible with their time, as we are now able to edit or update reports as we go. 

“The team has tablets and smart phones that can basically access FactoryTalk View anywhere in the world – if they are out of the office or on-call the system can be easily accessed and key changes made,”Mr Pitcaithly said.

The FactoryTalk software suite delivers a real-time exchange of information throughout an organisation, which is a critical element that allows for more informed business decisions, improved responsiveness, increased productivity, reduced costs and ease of compliance with regulations.

The new Integrated Architecture® solution will help the plant supply fresh drinking water and a clean environment to residents of Hamilton for many years to come. 

Mr Pitcaithly said historical and reporting data is now available more quickly and accurately following the implementation of the FactoryTalk suite, then the council had envisioned prior to the upgrade.

With the FactoryTalk software suite delivering new found operational potential for the plant, the Hamilton City Council is planning to continue utilising these capabilities to update and improve its system further in the coming years.

Most importantly, the plant is now positioned to efficiently comply with water regulations in New Zealand, including the storage of data and records for 10 years.

“NHP have been great support during this project with product knowledge of what was required to meet the requirements of the project. It is good to work with people that know their product,” Mr Pitcaithly said.

Jessica Dickers is an experienced journalist, editor and content creator who is currently the Editor of Utility’s sister publication, Infrastructure. With a strong writing background, Jessica has experience in journalism, editing, print production, content marketing, event program creation, PR and editorial management. Her favourite part of her role as editor is collaborating with the sector to put together the best industry-leading content for the audience.

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