Fast, mobile communication is key for the technicians and engineers at the Ocotillo Brine Reduction Facility, a plant that treats industrial wastewater in Chandler, Arizona. To explore the options, the facility reached out to Creative Communications, an Authorized Motorola Dealer in Phoenix.
“We started with a basic voice application,” said Creative Communications Senior Account Executive Nick Spino. “Then the plant supervisor asked, ‘Now if we can just find a way to get rid of our cellphones.'” Personnel needed cellphones to receive alarm messages, which are generated by the plant’s Rockwell Automation ControlLogix® platform and visualized via GE CIMPLICITY supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software.
Spino had a solution: an integrated data-voice application using MOTOTRBO™ digital radios and StreetTrek Solutions software. There was one big catch, however: the plant’s alarm system can’t link to radios or generate email.
It takes a team
Solving this tricky problem fell to Mark Weston, Senior Programmer at Carollo Engineers in Roseville, California. He understood the task at hand: “This is a 24-hour facility with staffing changes throughout the day,” Weston said. “I needed to find a way to get alarm messages from CIMPLICITY to the plant staff, even when they’re not near a terminal.”
Weston worked with the experts at StreetTrek along with another software vendor to create a custom solution. The vendor supplied intermediate software that interacts with CIMPLICITY and generates an email when an alarm is triggered. That email is transmitted to StreetTrek’s customized SMTP Server for IP Site Connect, which creates and sends text messages to the Motorola radios.
The result of their efforts: greatly improved emergency response at Ocotillo, along with cost savings by eliminating monthly cellphone charges.
“StreetTrek’s performance was excellent in solving issues that were unique to my project,” Weston said. “They worked together with my other vendor as a team, and were able to think creatively to customize their software to solve my challenge. Their tech support is excellent. Radio technology is tricky; their expertise was extremely helpful in accomplishing my goal.”