Remote Monitoring, Industrial

3 Ways for Water Operators to Easily Create Cloud-based SCADA Dashboards

May 11, 2020


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SCADA is used to monitor and control water operations, and SCADA dashboards are a great tool to visualize real-time and historical data. But, many SCADA systems don’t make it easy or cost-effective to set up and edit these dashboards.

With a modern approach to SCADA, using cloud-based software, any water operator can quickly and easily set up dashboards or make changes on the fly. Samsara dashboards provide a drag and drop interface that’s user friendly and intuitive. They’re web-based, securely accessible to an unlimited number of users on any device with internet, and automatically resize for easy viewing on any smartphone.

Here are three ways to build your own SCADA dashboards in ten minutes or less:

Build 1: Monitor Tank Levels & Setpoints

You can use dashboards to monitor critical data like tank levels in real-time. Incorporate tank level setpoints into your dashboard to ensure that tanks are never too high or low. You can build a tank level dashboard using these components: 

  • Use a gauge or level to visualize how full the tank is 

  • Use a text value to display current setpoints

  • Use a line graph to easily reference how the tank level trends over time. Add high and low level setpoints to the line graph so you can see when the tank level has dropped too high or too low.

To start, just drag and drop the component from the left sidebar into the dashboard and resize it. Then, add data inputs–in this case tank levels, tank level high setpoints, and tank level low setpoints.

Pro tip from a customer:

If you have multiple tanks, like Cobb Area Water does, you can group all of your tank levels into one dashboard for quick and easy referencing. Some of Cobb’s tanks may be different sizes, so each gauge can be set with a different maximum. Cobb’s water operators use this dashboard on their mobile phones to get a comprehensive high level view. If they need more info, they can jump to a more detailed dashboard for any site.

Build 2: Monitor & Control Pump Stations

Along with monitoring tank levels, you can implement pump or valve control through a dashboard. This makes it easy to view and make adjustments right from a mobile phone, without having to be onsite to make changes manually. As a water operator, this saves you time and gives you peace of mind.

  • Start by adding a bar graph to visualize pump status and run time 

  • Add text value components to display total pump runs and current mode

  • Add a line graph for suction pressure and discharge pressure to monitor pump operations

  • Add a control button that maps to a data output for pump mode, give it a drop down with pre-configured options like on, off, or auto

  • Add a control button that maps to a data output, set it up with a text entry to adjust the setpoint levels

Pro tip from a customer:

Central Texas Water Supply uses Samsara to automate control of the solenoid valves on their main water lines along with their pump modes. This helps them maintain consistent pressure across the uneven terrain in Texas. They have a gauge for each site’s actual value position, the last setpoint, and a control button to input a new valve adjustment.

Build 3: Visualize Water Treatment Operations

Samsara graphical dashboards are a powerful tool to visualize more complex operations. You can set up a graphical dashboard for a water treatment plant by dragging in any of 22 water-specific icons. Using graphical dashboards gives you the ability to visualize data within the context of your operations, so you can identify issues faster.

  • To create larger dashboards, toggle between the comfort and compact modes for more space

  • Use the shortcuts that are familiar to you, like copy, paste, undo, redo, and the ability to multi-select components

  • For each component, assign a data input or output and set a threshold color. For example, set up a pump to turn red if it reaches a high vibration reading 

  • Resize components by clicking and then expanding with the corner arrow

  • Draw flows by clicking the gray box around the component and connecting the arrow to another component

  • Link a component to navigate directly to another dashboard that provides a deeper dive into the equipment, for faster troubleshooting

  • Add the same data visualizations, like a bar chart, line graph, or gauge

Pro tip from a customer:

Woodmen Hills has each site set up with multiple Samsara dashboards, each focused on a specific system. For example, they visualize their filter plant operations with a graphical dashboard that displays filter flow, chlorine residuals, and effluent flow to transfer tanks. Because the Samsara dashboards are easy to build and edit, Sean Delladio, the primary water operator at Woodmen Hills, was able to build most of them himself.

Try it yourself today

Industrial customers can use all of these tips and features in their dashboards today. To learn more about dashboard configuration, check out the support articles. If you’re interested in trying Samsara’s Industrial Monitoring & Control solution for the first time, reach out to us here.


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