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SCADA and Automation CURRENT AFFAIRS SCADA Users Gather for Joint ISA-WEF Conference in Orlando Attendees Enjoyed 35 Technical Presentations and Got a Sneak Preview of ISA101 HMI Design Standard By Graham Nasby, P.Eng., PMP, CAP, City of Guelph Water Services This past August, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system users gathered in Orlando, Florida for the annual International Society of Automation (ISA) Water/ Wastewater and Automatic Controls (WWAC) symposium. Organized as a joint effort between the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Automation and Information Technology Committee and the ISA Water/Wastewater Division, this annual conference continues to attract upwards of 200 attendees per year. This year was no exception, with 187 attendees coming from across North America to the WWAC symposium to network, to learn about new SCADA technology, and to share ideas. Now in its fourth year, the symposium has proved to be a mecca for the folks who design, build, use, and maintain SCADA systems as part of their careers. At this year’s symposium, attendees heard 35 speakers on a variety of SCADA- related topics, attended a plant tour, and enjoyed an evening reception in the exhibits area. A total of 34 exhibitors and 10 symposium sponsors were also on hand to showcase their newest products and services. The symposium kicked off with a keynote address from John S. Young, a recently retired executive from American Water, who gave the keynote talk, The Water Industry – A Utility Perspective. In his remarks, Young talked about the changing priorities and challenges faced by many water/ wastewater utilities over the past five years, including deteriorating infrastructure, funding challenges, and an aging workforce. Part of his talk also highlighted the increasing role that SCADA needs to play, providing 32 INFLUENTS Winter 2015 General symposium chair Kevin Patel, of Signature Automation, kicks off the 2015 ISA Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls Symposium held August 4-6, 2015 in Orlando, Florida. process data which can be used to help utilities make better decisions, and how SCADA-provided automation can assist operations in more effectively operating their facilities. The importance of cyber security was also a major topic at the symposium. Invited speaker Bryan Singer spoke about the differences between OT (operational technology) and IT (information technology) networks, and how this impacts the techniques we use to secure networks. Singer talked about how securing SCADA networks, an operational technology, can often be challenging due to the high-uptime and low-latency requirements for water treatment plant control systems. Several business cases justifying investments in SCADA cyber security were also presented by other speakers at the symposium, ranging from security practitioners to utility managers. However it was the subject of High Performance HMIs, or more importantly the newly-published ISA101 HMI Design Standard, that proved to be the major focus of the symposium. An example of a High Performance HMI screen, designed in accordance with the principals outlined in ISA101, is shown in Figure 1. First introduced at the 2012 WWAC symposium by invited speaker Bill Hollifield, high performance HMIs (HP-HMIs) have become a growing topic at the symposium. At the time, Hollifield had co-written a book called the High Performance HMI Handbook, which provided an overview of the new HMI design ideas that had been coming out of a number of organizations, including the Abnormal Situation Management Consortium (ASM), the European Equipment and Materials Users Association (EEUMA), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), and the ISA. Click HERE to return to Table of contents