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Telemetry for remote pump station monitoring
December 2016, Industrial Wireless

Radio telemetry systems are proving more and more difficult due to legislation around ICSA frequencies and due to obstacles in the terrain affecting line-of-sight. As a result, many telemetry systems are relying on standard GSM cellular telecommunication systems to get their data from a remote plant to their main station.

South32 needed to integrate multiple remote pump stations into its newly commissioned water reclamation plant in the Middleburg area. Having successfully designed and commissioned the electrical, control and instrumentation systems for this new water treatment plant, Le Roux, Bouttell & Associates (LBA) was awarded the contract.

Many considerations were made and especially due to the nature of the landscape, a radio system was not easily implemented. LBA eventually decided to use eWON modems together with the eFIVE VPN concentrator, from Shorrock Automation, as the backbone to the system. Each remote site received an eWON GSM modem connected to a local S7 300 Siemens PLC. All remote sites connected to the main plant LAN/Scada network through the eFIVE VPN concentrator. Fixed IP sim cards, from Trinity Connect, provided the necessary secured data connection utilising a private APN. Using Trinity’s Smart platform it is easy to track data usage as well as to see which systems are online at any given point. This allows for seamless control of pump stations from the central control room at the water treatment plant via the secure VPN.

Further remote monitoring functionality was provided via a web platform. Using the built in Siemens S7 driver on the eWON, tags can be easily read from the PLC and displayed on M2Web platform accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection.

The system cuts down the constant need for maintenance personnel to be called out to stop and start pumps locally. The system is perfect for large applications, up to 100 sites, or even one standalone application. It has been designed for retrofit into any existing pump station/remote site with a minimum of installation effort, and can be configured to suit any application.

For more information contact Dave Le Roux, Le Roux, Bouttell & Associates, +27 (0)11 514 0909,,

Supplied By: Le Roux, Bouttell & Associates (LBA)
Tel: +27 11 514 0909
Fax: (011 514 0916
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