Operator solutions for water/wastewater

Recently released software interactively guides operators to improve effectiveness by up to 15%.

July 13, 2009

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a unit of GE Enterprise

Solutions, has adapted its Proficy Workflow for use in the water/wastewater

industry. The release is designed to enable an environment of information-rich,

circumstance-based workflows that operators follow to understand what’s

happening around them and how to react in a sequenced procedural and repeatable


With a Work Process Management system, plant managers have

the opportunity to improve quality, reduce operational costs and secure

operations for a sustainable advantage. They can decrease the variation in

operator performance, making operations more predictable. Proficy Workflow

guides operators with step-by-step instructions for each task during the day

and automatically walks them through corrective action to prevent or fix

problems. For example, an alarm from the SCADA system will trigger Proficy

Workflow to instruct the operator exactly how to work through the problem,

provide the information that he/she needs and possibly plays a video on how to

resolve the issue with a piece of equipment.

This combination of technology and human interface allows

operators to better understand the information at hand – and take action,

improving effectiveness by up to 15%. Proficy Workflow can also connect to many

existing databases in water and wastewater treatment plants – both GE Fanuc and

third party. This architecture connects to different databases and pulls

information back into video, portal or HTML screens. The software prompts

operators for manual data entry, as needed, and the validated data becomes part

of the facility’s permanent databases. Functionality of Proficy Workflow for

Water/Wastewater includes:

Enables operators follow the right work processes

Coordinates data across systems

Enables corrective action to improve operations

in real time

Triggers Workflows to act on alarms and prevent

additional downtime

Captures knowledge of expert workers to reduce

effects of employee attrition

Automatically triggers QA based on events or

elapsed time

Records and tracks work processes and

operational data to ease compliance

Manages both automated and manual processes.


“Sometimes having too much information is as bad as

not having any information at all,” said Alan Hinchman, GE Fanuc Intelligent

Platforms’ Global Water Industry Manager. “In a water treatment plant, managers

and operators need to filter through complex situations and sets of

circumstances, managing the data from many sources and understanding what the

next steps should be. Management can count on the best operators – but these

operators can’t handle every situation, every day, every year. With Proficy

Workflow, you can make every operator an expert.”