Singer Valve Showcases Single-Process Control Panel

An easy-to-use, single-process control panel gives users a wide range of options for regulating water and wastewater system operations.
Singer Valve Showcases Single-Process Control Panel
The SCP-TP unit can control any one of multiple process variables, including level, flow, valve position and pressure. It’s easily interchangeable between controlled devices.

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Simplicity is important in controlling processes in water treatment and distribution systems. That simplicity includes freedom from installing and stocking numerous different control devices to regulate processes.

Singer Valve offers the SCP-TP single-process control panel as one device with the capability to control a variety of functions. It is designed for controlling variables including tank level, upstream/downstream pressure, flow and valve position. It means users may need to inventory just one type of control device for multiple single-process applications.

The controller is compatible with Singer Valve products as well as products from other manufacturers. It can provide proportional-integral-derivative (PID) feedback control as well as on/off control and 4-20mA motor control. It includes data logging capability and a variety of configuration options accessible through a color touch-screen interface. Ryan Spooner, instrumentation and automation manager, talked about the offering in an interview with Treatment Plant Operator.

TPO: What was the rationale behind developing this product for the marketplace?

Spooner: Our aim was to develop an all-encompassing controller that would offer multiple solutions to customers, so that they could buy one type of panel to control many different products that Singer Valve and other manufacturers sell. We tried to incorporate a wide range of capabilities that our customers have suggested to us.

TPO: How would you describe a single-process controller?

Spooner: It’s capable of controlling multiple functions, but only one process variable at a time — such as level, flow, valve position or pressure. It’s very easily interchangeable between controlled devices. The controller reads and compares the process variable 4-20mA signal to the user-selected setpoint. It then positions the valve to bring the process variable toward the setpoint until the two coincide.

TPO: What is the key advantage of a controller such as this one?

Spooner: The key advantages are ease of use and flexibility. We’ve made everything simple, even for users who don’t have a great deal of experience with controllers. Any operator, with a little talk-through and an overview of how it functions, should be able to work with it from then on. In terms of flexibility, we tried to offer as much as possible in one controller so that customers can carry one controller on the shelf that can be used in many applications.

TPO: How does the user set up the controller?

Spooner: The touch-screen interface provides access to establish the process value setpoint. It also provides access to control a valve manually. We designed the device to be unitless so that all the operator has to do is set it up for the range of sensor process values coming in. We accept a 4-20mA signal from any kind of sensor. If it’s a pressure sensor, for example, the range might be zero to 200 psi. So the user would just set the control for zero to 200 and wouldn’t worry about the psi.

TPO: What kinds of configuration options are available through the touch-screen panel?

Spooner: We provide access to change from PID control to on/off control or motor control. There is also an alarms menu. Each controller has two optional alarms that users can specify.

For example, they can configure it to alarm in case a sensor should fail, or if the controller has been left in the manual mode. They also can program the control for strainer flush, so that instead of alarming when a valve strainer needs flushing, it would flush automatically at the time of day that they set.

TPO: Are there any other automated capabilities?

Spooner: The controller allows setpoint scheduling. Users can program up to 10 setpoints per day. They can create setpoints on the HMI, physically touching the screen. They can also create setpoints remotely by way of 4-20mA signal or Modbus. But if they don’t want to be constantly adjusting setpoints manually, they can schedule them based on day of the week and time of day, such as to save money by reducing pressures or reducing flows at certain times.  

TPO: Can this controller be used to gather or analyze data?

Spooner: The device includes a data logger that saves time-stamped data onto a micro-SD card. Users can store their setpoints and actual process variable data and graph it all over time down to intervals as small as one second. All data is logged in an easily readable CSV file. The controller also has live trending graphs that can be viewed on the HMI. Today, for example, a lot of utilities are trying to reduce pressures in their lines to help stop pipe breaks and reduce water losses. Actually seeing what has been happening can help them adjust setpoints and save money.

TPO: Is there any built-in security to protect settings once they are established?

Spooner: The controller is password-protected on two levels — an operator level and an administrative level.

TPO: Is there anything else prospective users should know about this controller?

Spooner: We offer it with AC or DC power input. Regardless, every unit has a 24-volt internal power supply, which is beneficial for connecting sensors. Because we are a UL-certified panel shop, every unit we build is UL-certified. In Canada everything needs to be CSA-certified, and UL meets that. Within the U.S., certain states also need the UL certification.


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