The Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities determined that its capacity for monitoring, communicating, and storing data for its 413 sewage pumping stations and dozens of water supply facilities no longer met the community’s needs. The City selected McKim & Creed to design a replacement system using Schneider PLCs, Citect HMI and DNP3 communications over radio and cellular networks. Upon completion of the design, our team also provided construction observation to help the contractor, Systems East, Inc. (SEI), to research the existing installation, identify potential issues and resolve them prior to outage, test the station offline, verify proper installation techniques, and assist with checkout and commissioning during the outage. This provided a liaison between SEI and Virginia Beach maintenance, which ensured that the scope of the project was accomplished and the City’s goals were met.
We performed all PLC programming and led all offline testing to ensure consistency with the design and system readiness prior to installation. Narratives and functional descriptions were developed by McKim & Creed and reviewed by Virginia Beach prior to programming. Opportunities to standardize the programming of similar stations were capitalized on to reduce the number of different programs in the system and provide operations and maintenance the same experience across the system. The HMI programming was done by another firm remotely, so we developed interface documents to define the communications between the PLC and HMI to better clarify the signals.
Throughout the project, we provided training to the operations and maintenance staff of Virginia Beach. Training included general overviews of the project and specific training on PLC programming, stations, communications and troubleshooting. Multiple classes of the same course were held throughout the project for reinforcement. Classes included a combination of lecture, hands-on and field site visits.
Our execution of this project maintained the standardization goals of the design through consistency and construction observation. Our knowledge of the design and subsequent PLC programming, construction observation, and training efforts provided unique advantages to the City.
This project included the manufacturing and installation of 410 UL-listed control panels, Archestra and InTouch.