Remote monitoring of a membrane wastewater purifier

April 2002 SCADA/HMI

The membrane filter is a state of the art package system that circulates the liquid by the membrane and does not force it through directly. The circulating liquid gradually builds up contaminants as purified liquid passes naturally through the membrane to the sewer as clean water. When the contaminants build to a high enough level, the system removes the batch and disposes of it.


Lookout has flexible and powerful graphic capabilities that use 3D graphics and deliver the ability to build realistic 2D views. Other attributes include:

* 3D software automatically shades and highlights objects and applies the correct perspective.

* A change in equipment location during installation is simple to accommodate in 3D but requires extensive work redrawing in a 2D graphics package.

* With 3D graphics DG Instrumentation can position the 2D view to give any view required. It even produces 'walk-throughs' of the plant.


After the completion of the 3D model, DG Instrumentation positioned the software cameras to give the required 2D view of the process. DG Instrumentation then used these cameras to produce several 2D bitmap images for each Lookout screen - one view for the background image and one each for all the various colour changes required to show the status of each object in the process.

DG Instrumentation imported these bitmaps into Photoshop, cut them to the correct size, and saved them as individual small bitmaps. These small bitmaps were then used to produce the animations with Lookout Multistate Object so the Process Object, such as a pump or a valve, changes colour when it turns on and off. Lookout made this animation very easy, and to the viewer the effect is seamless - the objects change colour or shape with no change in the background at all.

DG Instrumentation also produced a 'walk through' of the plant using the Lookout Animator Object. A total of 13 screens (frames) could be displayed with the 64MB of RAM available. These were full true-colour screens, 1024 x 768 pixels.


DG Instrumentation installed the computer at the remote plant on a temporary basis for start-up. Translink Environmental Coordinator, Peter Borgmann said, "Lookout was an incredible aid to troubleshooting and start-up." TransLink used a 486 PC combined with a run-time version of Lookout for remote site maintenance.

In addition to using the spreadsheet (.csv) files that Lookout generates every month for compliance purposes, Borgmann also uses the Lookout scada at his office to introduce new staff to the system and finds the 3D graphics very useful in showing them the membrane process. He also uses the animated Schematic view to show people how the process works in realtime without having to leave the office, but the bottom line is Lookout trends. Borgmann said, "I use the office unit on a daily basis to make sure everything is running properly, and when there are glitches, the trends are a fantastic diagnostic tool." DG Instrumentation has used other scada and MMI software, but Lookout is by far the most reliable. It is powerful and easy to use.

National Instruments

011 805 8197

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