Charlottesville, Va.-based GE Intelligent Platforms announced that long-term customer, the Waterford Township Department of Public Works, is standardizing on GE’s Proficy Software Platform for multiple projects including an Electronic Standard Operating Procedures system and connection to the municipality’s existing Geospatial Information System.

Waterford personnel will be partnering with information technology experts located at GE’s Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center in Van Buren Township to develop a platform that will tie all of this  municipality’s disparate systems together and provide them with methodologies and best practices to better meet customer needs.

With 13 water treatment plants and 62 sewer pumping stations covering a district of 36 square miles, Waterford’s DPW serves a population of approximately 72,000 people, capable of producing 30 million gallons of water per day.

In addition to the GIS, the department has deployed many advanced technology projects, including a state-of-the-art SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system, automated meter reading, computer maintenance management system, broadband wireless network that streams video from cameras deployed around the township and document management, among others.

“Our goal is to have all of our platforms integrated and we view this project as a major step in helping make that a reality,” said Terry Biederman, Director of Public Works for Waterford Township. “This project will allow us to further leverage all of the operational benefits we currently enjoy as a result of implementing these kinds of tools.”

Said Alan Hinchman, global industry manager for GE Intelligent Platforms: “Waterford Township is a highly automated department and we are excited to be working with them on a forward-thinking water application. Work on the solution will be collaborative effort by a team comprised of top information technologists from GE’s Technology Center in Michigan and Waterford Township. This platform convergence solution links Waterford Township’s existing HMI/SCADA and GIS-based application to a new eSOP system that will allow operators to be more responsive and timely in their actions related to alarms at the plant.”

The “platform convergence project,” as termed by Waterford, uses Proficy SOA as the collaboration technology. Proficy Workflow will power the eSOP application, which includes Proficy Historian, Proficy Real-Time Information Portal and Alarm Response Management templates working closely with the utility’s already implemented Proficy iFIX systems. The system will be used to digitize standard methodologies and best practices providing them with immediate access to the right information so the team can perform at the highest level. It can be configured to document procedures so operators are guided through them step-by-step via a user-friendly interface; automatically trigger workflows in response to alarms and events; digitize operator log books; and generate reports that capture important information that helps Waterford make critical decisions regarding their operations.

Waterford is starting with three workflow applications to assist with the Pump Station: Pump Station Inspection, Pump Station Motor Starts and Pump Station Motor Durations.

“In today’s challenging economic climate, many organizations are responding to the need to reduce capital investment, asset utilization and maximize return from their resources,” said Erik Udstuen, vice president of software and services for GE Intelligent Platforms. “In Michigan, companies and government agencies are working hard on these issues and Waterford Township is at the forefront of this activity. Partnering with GE’s Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center is accelerating the development of state-of-the-art solutions that will keep Waterford competitive and forward-thinking in meeting the needs of its constituents.”

GE’s Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center is a state-of-the-art information technology and research and development facility focused on helping GE develop innovative new software, processes and technologies to drive excellence in manufacturing for the company and its customers. Bringing on talented experts at a rate or nearly two people per day, the Center has hired more than 550 new hires and will eventually house the largest concentration of GE IT experts around the globe.

Proficy is an example of how GE’s $4 billion-a-year software and solutions services businesses are helping customers improve productivity.

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