When the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) in Duluth, MN, replaced its solids handling system with Temperature Phased Anaerobic Digestion (TPAD) and land application, it smoothly expanded its hybrid DCS/PLC system to control the new facilities. WLSSD used a programming
and implementation approach called Smart Collaboration. This approach ensured established programming standards were followed, and used in-house programming experience and the special capabilities of contractors to complete the implementation. Smart Collaboration vigorously applies task
decoupling, control strategies, standards, and validation to efficiently and effectively implement systems using a diverse team of programmers. Task decoupling divides the project tasks into like groups of work, and among the programming engineer, the design engineer, the panel builder, and
its own staff. This decouples the work and makes implementation proceed more efficiently. Consistent and well-defined control strategies enabled WLSSD to ensure that programs controlled the processes as expected. This allowed the programming engineer to proceed with programming, confident
the working results would be acceptable to WLSSD. Established programming standards guided the programming at all levels, and helped guarantee that the implementation would be consistent, usable, familiar, and maintainable. Finally, the whole process was held together through end-to-end
testing and validation, coordination with the construction schedule, and a rigorous startup that tested every aspect of the control strategy. Because of each party's superior effort, startups were flatteringly described as “uneventful” and “almost non-events”.
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