The Eternal Optimist
Yes, I am an optimist, but I think that in a few years things will be much improved over the current process control offerings. Perhaps the most change will be in the integration of process control systems and the “standard” office information networks and software.
I am now the superintendent at the new Mt. Pleasant (Mich.) Water Treatment Plant, which features multiple PLCs (Opto 22) and PCs (running Wonderware InTouch). I wrote a column in the May 1994 Journal American Water Works where I was again a bit overly optimistic in my time frame (by about two years) for process control changes and the direction where we are heading in the water treatment field. One of the problems involved in integrating SCADA systems with plant-wide networks and organizational WANs is maintaining security during planning and implementation. I look forward to each issue of Utility Automation and would like to see more detailed articles about water/wastewater plant systems and integrating networks.