LYON, France, Apr. 28, 2009 -- More than 100 Ethernet DDW-100 connectors -- and 15 Ethernet R208 switches -- from Westermo have been installed to manage information from 65 boreholes in the Saint Avold area in Eastern France. Knowing that peak demand on the site can reach 3500m³ an hour, the challenge posed by the reliability and availability of the equipment becomes obvious. An Ethernet network in a redundant ring, connecting the sites that are up to 20km apart, has therefore been installed.
The Eastern Water Company, a subsidiary of Lyon Water, operates water boreholes that supply the petrochemical site and the thermal power plant in the Saint Avold area in Eastern France. To overcome the loss of output -- since water pumping in the coalmines was stopped in 2006 -- a production modernization program has been launched. It includes the construction of 20 new water boreholes, taking the number to 65, as well as upgrading the entire supervision system and automated remote control of these boreholes.
It is at this stage that the Westermo equipment is introduced. Historically, the boreholes were linked by a pair of classic copper networks, which did not allow any advanced supervision and little communication -- only in 'all or nothing' mode. The old method was based on a front-end communication structure that interrogated many PLC (programmable logic controller) slaves. Very little information could therefore be managed.
"We really appreciate Westermo's DDW-100 Ethernet extender because it allows us to use our old network cables to create an extended Ethernet network. Moreover, the Westermo team's involvement in the technical solution, from the beginning, was equally remarkable," says M. Philipp, head of Automation and Supervision at Eastern Water Company. "In particular, they have helped us to define and put in place the new redundant ring Ethernet network. It comprises switches with R208 redundant network management -- as well as DDW-100 Ethernet extenders -- that allow the creation of Ethernet links over distances of more than 10km with simple copper pair cables."
Up to now, each borehole has been equipped with a PLC that can fully interact with the supervision. Real-time information is supplied on output, motor intensity, stops, defaults, water height, etc.
"This allows us to have better monitoring and greater flexibility in our production: development of groundwater, control of energy consumption, predictive maintenance and the use of working boreholes according to the water purity... The supervision is equally interfaced with a database for a complete history."
The ring starts from the supervision point and goes towards the pumping points. If a fault occurs in a cable, or in the equipment, the network automatically reconfigures in the other direction within several milliseconds. The ISNMP network management software was also chosen by the Eastern Water Company. In the case of network failure, the switches provide real time information, and alert the Topkapi supervision station -- which allows instant location and a rapid response for maintenance.
By definition, the Ethernet 10/100 Base Tx network is limited to a distance of 100m. To overcome this limitation, it was necessary to use fibre optic cables (which are fragile, expensive and difficult to work with), or radio transmissions (of variable quality in space and time). The DDW100 allows the connection of two separate Ethernet networks by a simple twisted copper pair cable at a distance up to 13km. The DDW100 uses the high output Internet protocol SHDSL (Symmetric High-Bitrate Digital Subscriber Loop). Totally 'plug and play', and possessing a high immunity to environmental changes, it offers symmetric data rates from 192kbits to 2.3Mbits (depending on cable length).
Westermo's Ethernet R208 switch maintains the safety of the entire network by creating and managing a redundant ring and reporting every possible anomaly to the network supervision software via SNMP. The R208 switch allows the establishment of reliable industrial Ethernet networks, in a redundant ring configuration, which avoids network failure that is related to faults in the fibre or copper infrastructure. The recovery time is only 30ms.