Ignition and Water/Wastewater: A Decade of Transformation

57 min video  /  2 minute read

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Henry Palecheck works as the Information Systems Supervisor for a large water district in the San Diego area, overseeing the district’s SCADA system. In his session at the 2017 Ignition Community Conference, Henry discussed how his water district has been utilizing Ignition by Inductive Automation to save time and money, modernize its systems, streamline its processes, and improve its reports over the past 10 years.

Technology is ever-changing, evolving, and advancing, so in order to achieve a more stable and simple system, Henry’s water district needed to update the software it was using at the time. Before the implementation of Ignition, Henry points out that there were many issues present and he had to spend a lot of his time creating hacks in order to get the information he needed. The main source of this problem was that the water district did not have a true database.

Knowing that his water district needed to update its system and software, Henry set out to look for something that would streamline his processes and make his job easier. Henry came across Inductive Automation, requested a demonstration, liked what he saw, and decided to include his higher-ups in the second demonstration.

Henry was impressed with Ignition and, knowing that the water district needed to transition from its legacy solution into a more web-based solution, he chose to implement the software. Once Ignition was implemented, Henry’s workload began to shift from spending a majority of his time on maintaining the hardware and legacy system to managing the network and PLCs, which was more beneficial because the aging infrastructure needed close attention.

Henry continues to mention how Ignition is “future-proof” and how valuable it has become for him and his team. He highlights the many benefits, possibilities, and what he likes most about Ignition (watch from 12:40-15:00 in the video).

New technologies and a younger generation of staff members who heavily rely on them have pushed water utilities to migrate to newer technology. Having Ignition has made this adaptation much easier for Henry, especially when it comes to ease of use and in-house, on-the-job training. Other water districts have visited his site in order to observe and evaluate Ignition’s ability to work with and adapt to the water district’s existing system and hardware. Henry shows a chart of the average water bill for water utilities in San Diego (38:45-39:40); this gives a quick comparison of districts which have decided to take the lead and deploy Ignition and those that have yet to do so. The difference is quite drastic.

Henry stresses that Ignition has saved his company at least a million dollars, reduced his workload, and is beneficial for both operators and ratepayers, among many other benefits. If you’d like to learn more about the improvements that Henry and his water district have experienced in the past decade, watch the video above.

Posted on September 1, 2017