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Success story: Easley Combined Utilities, Easley, SC (USA)

Unified Power and Automation System




Key customer benefits:

More than 50% increase in water quality


Customer profile (*):

  • Easley Combined Utilities: supplying water to 40 000 people, 12 MGallons/day
  • M/R Systems: instrumentation and control system integrator
  • Design South Professionals: consulting engineering firm

Customer objective and constraints (*):

  • 30% capacity increase.
  • Improved monitoring capability: bring the plant from being completely manual to fully automated.
  • Replacement of much of its electrical distribution equipment.


Implementation methodology (main phases) (*):

  • Easley utility turned to M/R Systems, which collaborated closely with Design South Professionals, the consulting engineering firm,
  • M/R Systems proposed a control system based on Quantum™ PLCs from Schneider Electric,
  • Easley utility also elected to use Square D power distribution equipment as Square D products were used in the plant when it was first built.

Solution overview (services, products, systems, architectures…) (*):


  • SCADA system for measuring, monitoring and controlling the water process,
  • PLCs programmed with the Concept™ development software and installed throughout the plant,
  • Touch screen control panels,
  • Six remote telemetry units (RTU),
  • Self-healing fiber optic Ethernet ring network,
  • Five Ethernet cameras scattered around the entire treatment,
  • Integration with the Internet through a virtual private network (VPN),
  • Installation of Variable Speed Drives for flow control without having to completely start up and shut down a pump every time a load change is neede


Customer benefits (*):

  • More than 50% increase in water quality thanks to the automated system’s tighter control capabilities.
  • Properly monitor all aspects of plant via both data and visual means,
  • Handle the plant’s increased capacity without needing to hire additional staff, saving the community money,
  • Realize electricity savings: take advantage of off-peak electricity hours.

Customer testimonies (Verbatim):

  • Tate Davis, water plant superintendent, Easley Combined Utilities:
"With the automated system, if we have a problem with a chemical feed, a pump, anything, we have almost immediate acknowledgement of it. The SCADA system has provided us with immense value,”

  • Jim Bercik, president, M/R Systems:
“Another vendor could come up with the same pieces as what Schneider Electric provided, but the whole system wouldn’t be as integrated or work as seamlessly”

Schneider Electric differentiating values VS competitors:

  • Automation and control open solution
  • Non-proprietary, open solution with open Ethernet protocols
  • Special drivers and proprietary software are not needed
  • Complete access to all plant information easily accessible through off-the-shelf software packages
  • System compatibility with power distribution equipment ensuring seamless, open communication both now and during future upgrades