System Integrator Uses ThinManager and Thin Clients to Increase Visualization, Cut Costs for National Operations Center

WachsField Technologies deployed ThinManager and thin client hardware to drive multiple 60” high-definition TVs in order to build a hypervisual national data operations center. Not only was the project a major success, but they also saved the customer a ton of money. Here’s how they did it.

The Setup

When Robert Maxfield first learned about his customer’s desire to create a modern national data operations center, the customer already had some idea of how they would want it to be built out. The original idea included a ton of expensive video hardware that would be able to drive video output cards capable of running several high-definition TVs. [...]

System Integrator Uses ThinManager to Help Create a New Platform for Benchtop and Small-Scale Bioreactor Users

System Integrators work hard. Projects usually take longer than expected as the scope stretches to meet the customer’s expectations. Every project has unique challenges. Sometimes you put in long days and weekend work to make sure everything gets done.

Because of these things and much more, successful SIs learn how to work very efficiently. When a tool or system can be utilized to make projects more streamlined, SIs will seek to redeploy that tool or system on other projects to help overcome the obstacles mentioned above. [...]

Pinellas County: Managing A Municipality with ThinManager

ACP sat down with Ken Osborne, the SCADA Systems Coordinator for Pinellas County Utilities and discussed what it takes to keep the water flowing for over one million people in the Tampa Bay area.

Q – “How long have you been with the Pinellas County Utilities?”

A –  “Thirty three years”

Q –  “What did the system look like 33 years ago?”

A –  “There wasn’t a system. In about 1995, we installed a VMS based Opto 22 system for all of Pinellas County, which at the time, was four main facilities plus 300 pumps and offsite stations. After Y2K happened, when we saw that our software was not working properly, we started converting over to Wonderware and we completed our first site deployment with  ThinManager on an upgrade to a Terminal Server environment with Wonderware.” [...]

Chevron North America Exploration & Production using ThinManager to power production

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Since 1879, Chevron has been on the cutting edge of exploration and innovation. Over the years they have grown and changed with the times and have always continued to evolve along with the needs of the world. Today, they are not only one of the largest companies in the world; they are a global leader in technology. When Chevron needed a new technology for plant management, they chose ThinManager.

Time to Upgrade

For years, Chevron had used custom built remote units for their facilities to work within custom parameters specific to their industry regulations. After years of dealing with the added resource cost in cash and labor, a project manager made the suggestion to switch to thin clients as a hardware solution at a specific plant. The suggestion was met with approval and they began the task of searching for a thin client management platform that could meet their needs. [...]

ThinManager Technology Simplifies Operations at City of Riverside

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The wastewater treatment plant for the City of Riverside, California processes approximately 33 million gallons a day at a facility with preliminary, primary, second- ary and tertiary treatment. Solids handling for the facility includes anaerobic digestion and mechanical dewatering.

The 1,000 foot elevation change across the plant’s service area makes com- munication with the system’s 22 lift sta- tions a challenge. The plant also manages a 3.3 MW co-generation facility and the City’s closed landfill operation. The work is detailed, complex, and the continued smooth operation of the facility is impor- tant to both the community and the local environment. [...]

ACP ThinManager helps Shurtape plan for the future

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Evolving out of a business started in 1880 near Hickory, North Carolina, Shurtape Technologies, Inc. today manu- factures a wide range of quality paper masking, polypropylene, coated vinyl, metalized cloth and duct tapes. These products service a variety of adhesive tape applications in many markets, including automotive, HVAC and construction, power and utility and military and aero- space industries.

Why a change was necessary

To meet the growing needs of their customers, Shurtape invests aggressively in new technology and equipment. Using automation, simplicity and effi- ciency as guiding principles, Shurtape reviews their process with the goal of producing the finest tapes in the indus- try, while satisfying customer require- ments for highly competitive pricing, dependable quality, reliable performance and rapid delivery. [...]

ACP Thin Clients Bring Cost Savings to PCS Nitrogen

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Using a single raw material, natural gas, the Georgia based ammonia plant for PotashCorp, PCS Nitrogen, is the largest producer of nitrogen products on the East Coast. Since its start-up in the late 1970’s this plant has become one of the most reli- able ammonia plants in the world, and now produces over 2.8 million tons of ammonia and ammonia based products each year.

The Challenge: Reduce Maintenance and Expansion Costs and Increase Functionality with Zero Downtime

“Ammonia is a commodity chemical and typically the margins are not great,” offers Keith Wilson, Ammonia Technology Manager at PCS Nitrogen, “so the keys to making money are having a very efficient plant and having a very high stream factor. And this plant has had a stream factor in the 98 to 99 percent range for the last three to four years.” [...]

Logan Aluminum Rolls Out ACP Thin Client Technology

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Named for the county in Kentucky where it made its home in the early 1980’s, Logan Aluminum, a joint venture between Arco Aluminum and Alcan, specializes in the production of rolled aluminum. The 1.5 billion pounds of metal that passes through this plant each year makes up about 1/3 of the rolled aluminum used by the entire US aluminum can market.

The Challenge: Update the Aging HMI System Without Affecting Production

The Logan Plant only shuts down only one day each year, and new products must be installed without risking Logan’s World- Class Production and Utilization numbers. Like many factories, Logan was using PCs throughout to monitor and control pro- duction, but the management team was becoming tired of system updates and ongoing PC maintenance. Whatever HMI they settled on, they wanted a way to dis- tribute the user interface without relying on the traditional distributed PC model. [...]

Forklifts give new meaning to “Mobile Computing”

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Imperial Tobacco Canada has been Canada’s leading tobacco company for over eighty years, producing two-thirds of Canada’s cigarettes including du Maurier, Players, and Matinee.

Imperial is currently running a cigarette manufacturing plant in Guelph, Ontario, and a tobacco processing facility in Aylmer, Ontario. Their corporate office is in Montreal.

The Challenge: Deploying Inventory Management Software on Moving Forklifts

Imperial Tobacco was dispatching fork- lifts to move materials and products with an old-fashioned paper-based requisition and confirmation system. A computer- based system would be faster and more responsive, with greater accuracy and easi- er record keeping. [...]

(Don’t) Stop the Presses

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Thin Clients the solution when downtime is not an option

Known as “New York’s Hometown Newspaper”, The New York Daily News began printing in 1919 and soon became a favorite for is use of photographs, as well as its news, gossip and sports section. Its daily circulation of over 800,000 makes it the 7th most popular paper in the country and the second most widely read of New York’s 10 papers.

Some of its more famous headlines: “Who’s a Bum” (describing the Brooklyn Dodgers championship of 1955) and “Ford to City: Drop Dead”, run when President Gerald Ford refused the City of New York assistance during its financial crisis of the 1970’s. [...]