Recordkeeping can be a pain, especially when it comes to tracking and keeping instantly-accessible various compliance summaries for regulatory and enforcement bodies. Often, companies start with a simple spreadsheet containing a few hundred cells of calculated information. It’s easily maintained by an engineer. But then it grows – and grows again, especially if the plant or mine has waste or runoff water that must be contained and ultimately discharged into a stream or lake.
Trying to reliably satisfy the demands of the Clean Water Act’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and a state Department of Environmental Protection, one of our clients approached us and asked Omicron to look at their spreadsheet – one with over 15,000 PI calculations in it. With more than twenty wells to monitor, several force mains and a pond with maximum temperature restrictions, the workbook had become massive in trying to satisfy hourly, daily and monthly reporting requirements. Opening the workbook over a VPN could take over 40 minutes as large amounts of data were drawn from PI.
Omicron reduces Complexity and Maintenance
Our recommendation was to use PI ACE to insert the lowest granular level of data into a SQL Server database, build the hourly, daily, monthly and total-plant data aggregations with SQL and display the results via SharePoint 2010. Several important benefits were derived from this effort:
- The data can be accessed within seconds via SharePoint in list and graph form, regardless of whether the access point is within the corporate network or connected via VPN.
- A single copy of each formula is used for all similar monitored components, thus eliminating errors generated from copying cell formulas and improving the reliability of results.
- It has been running for over two years with no maintenance needed. Date and target setpoint maintenance that was regularly necessary with the workbook was eliminated in the design of the PI ACE code and the SharePoint facilities.
- The results are simply there for reviewing and using. No one has to initiate any action to generate the data.
At Omicron, customers call on us to reduce complexity, slash maintenance, improve reliability and enhance reporting. Our experienced PI and SharePoint team has been dealing with many situations similar to this for over 20 years.
Call us at (609) 678-0110 to discuss your PI and SharePoint needs.