Industrial Automation & Integration
Growing from an internal need to monitor assets under management and gather maintenance related data, Stark’s engineers have developed innovative information harvesting tools that run parallel to the standard operational control systems. Understanding that problem investigation should be fast and efficient we have developed a toolbox of inexpensive, but robust IoT components that can be quickly deployed with minimum interference to existing operations.
These tools mesh via a client specific, private 4G network with a dedicated data collector.
Data visualisation is dependent on use case
web for a dashboard,
BI tools for analysis,
Ignition SCADA for operational control.
Where a client has no operational control or monitoring system in place, Stark’s toolbox can be modified to take the place of a more traditional (and expensive) deployment for a fast and cost-effective solution. By using Ignition Automation SCADA as a base component Stark is ensuring that the client has a solution that will scale with operational growth and is flexible enough to deal with changing conditions and complexity.
Traditional SCADA, HMI and PLC programming
Stark’s engineers have been adapting, modifying, and enhancing client plant for years. Very few changes can be implemented without the corresponding modification to the underlying control systems.
Stark has built up an expertise in augmenting existing PLC and controls without compromising the integrity of existing plant. This has provided us a broad range of experience on a variety of hardware/software.
Stark works with the client’s existing processes, be that creating functional design specifics, programming, hardware installation or commissioning to deliver a robust and intuitive control system. We have expertise to program with a range of SCADA and PLC software. We work with our clients to ensure the end product is consistent with their other plants and intuitive for their personnel.
Stark’s strength is in its integrated approach to engineering. Our Controls team works as part of our Operation and Maintenance team, which allows our programmers to understand the impact their coding has on physical plant.
Bespoke monitoring and Reporting solutions
Starks approach is based on experience gained using standard operational control systems, understanding their strengths, and mitigating their weaknesses.
One area traditional SCADA fails is with business centric overviews and BI friendly data feeds.
Stark has created web-based real-time dashboard overviews for monitoring multiple assets running on different SCADA software for Sydney Water’s Renewable Energy Generation Assets.
This gives asset managers a snapshot of key metrics via phone or desktop.
Forward data flow - process data to the business in the correct format. We understand business reporting has different requirements to plant operation. Starks’ connectors pull and normalise data disparity from a variety of devices to create regular snapshot reporting that can be easily understood by a wider audience. This data can be pushed to BI tools for bespoke reporting.
Reverse data flow - Integrating BI with plant operations. Working with a number of large organisations we have recognised the need for business data to be available to the plant operators.
Traditionally this was done by email, check sheets and memos. The challenge is to integrate business systems like Oracle and SAP in such a way that they deliver timely data to without the need for an interfacing medium like email.
Stark connector tools inject BI into SCADA, minimising operator training and system fatigue.
Process modelling integrated with SCADA software
For high risk projects we have developed novel modelling approaches to combine simulated physical responses with automation programs to test the simulated situation.
Prospect Outlet Works - Anti Surge Project - We undertook an anti-surge project for Sydney Water’s Prospect hydrogeneration turbine. This involved the integration of a hydrostatic model of the outlet works at Prospect with an Ignition simulator of the outlet works and a test PLC running a truncated version of the existing code.
The output from the model and simulator were compared to existing data to ensure the model was an accurate representation of the actual process. This approach allowed for an accurate estimate of the effect of valve transition time on flow to test implemented controls. The high consequence of changes and long times between flow transitions meant that online testing without modelling was not an option. The resulting process changes based on the modelled solution was effective in mitigating flow surge issues in most circumstances.