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Real-time process control networks traditionally have been designed to be physically separate, optimizing real-time performance by separating business network communications and ensuring real-time reliability requirements. Due to large quantity of data, file sizes (graphic or video files), and network speed required for process control data, a separate network was often designed to ensure ability to meet the accuracy and reliability needs of process control. Pima County Wastewater Management (PCWM), with the help of EMA, determined network technology had advanced sufficiently to allow combining process control and business communications to simplify network administration and security without compromising the performance and reliability of the County's process control system.

The network design to optimize physical network reliability at Ina Road Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is complete and upgraded network equipment has been installed and configured. The network and process control system at Ina Road went live in December 2002, with all remaining PLC/HMI local control segments are planned for completion by September 2003. Use to-date shows that the new network technology supports seamless integration of real-time process control networks with business networks. This integration is achieved without sacrificing performance or reliability requirements of real-time process control.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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