Using Interactive Process Maps to Support Decisions on Plant Asset Management

Authors:

  • Scott M. Alpert PhD, PE, Frank Rombardo PE – Hazen and Sawyer
  • Lisa M. Willis PE – Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources

Hazen and the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources (GCDWR) teamed to develop an interactive tool to help communicate daily water treatment plant capacity potential based on availability of equipment to operate, hydraulic limitations, and process constraints. The resulting Process Maps allow quick and easy visual representation of the status and available capacity of each process within the plant. The Process Maps are designed to supplement existing SCADA and CMMS asset registry systems while building upon the equipment inventories and hierarchies established within asset management processes. Ultimately, the Process Maps could be developed into fully automated digital tools with input originating from existing plant SCADA or CMMS systems to give real-time display of plant process status and capacity.

The Process Maps were developed to support GCDWR decision-making by representing the inventory and status of each major piece of equipment that is available or unavailable, the hydraulic and process limitations at each of the treatment plants, the equipment relationships to unit processes, and the capacity of process units given actual equipment condition. Level 1 maps show a visual of the overall solids and liquid trains at each plant as well as the capacity of each process. The Level 1 maps are updated with information input by operations staff in the Level 2 maps that detail specific equipment within each major process. After field validation and review of the maps by operations staff, logic was added to the tool to simulate equipment hierarchies and dependencies. Rules were developed to calculate process and plant capacity based on available equipment, process performance potential, and the equipment hierarchy. The resulting Process Maps allow operator staff to quickly input the availability of equipment and unit process availability based on maintenance status with simple checkbox clicks within the Level 2 maps. The maps then calculate process and plant capacity based on this status and visually illustrate available and unavailable processes through color-coded graphics. Alerts can also be set to indicate that a process needs attention and/or falls below redundancy goals. Residing on GCDWR’s server and displayed at each plant, these Process Maps seamlessly communicate to operations, maintenance, and management staff the plant’s readiness to treat flows. The maps can also be used to evaluate “what-if” scenarios to allow GCDWR to prioritize maintenance on major equipment and unit processes.

For more information, please contact the author at salpert@hazenandsawyer.com.

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