News | May 4, 2012

Trihedral Completes Phase 1 Of Sacramento SCADA Software Conversion

Source: Trihedral Engineering Limited
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Developers at the City of Sacramento and Trihedral  Engineering recently completed the first phase of the utility’s Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition (SCADA) Software Replacement Project. This new 111,475 tag system provides monitoring & control for the city’s widely distributed water, wastewater, collections, and distribution infrastructure. Phase 1 involved importing the existing I/O database into Trihedral’s VTScada monitoring & control software then rebuilding all graphic displays for one of the five facilities being converted. During phase 2, Trihedral will support utility staff as well as local integrators as they create displays for the remaining sites.

I/O Database Conversion
Katy Hexberg is an application developer with the Sacramento Department of Utilities. When City Council approved the choice of VTScada in 2009, Hexberg and several co-workers attended one of Trihedral’s week-long VTScada scripting courses. “She has a real knack for scripting and really understands SCADA,” says course instructor Ray Davies. “She took to VTScript like a duck to water.” After that, she was able to export the tags from their previous HMI application and import them into the VTScada tag database.

Reproducing Displays Using Standard Tools
Trihedral engineers Carl Wills, Paul Dexter, and Mark Neily worked closely with Hexberg to recreate all 268 interface displays for the Fairbairn Water Treatment Plant using standard VTScada drawing tools. “Katy created an application that included nothing but the converted tag database. She exported that as a single VTScada changeset file and sent it to us. Then we would add pages and send it back to her. She was also developing her own pages for sites like the Sump. Changesets helped to ensure we were always working on the same application.”

In addition to pages, Hexberg and the Trihedral team also collaborated on creating reusable grouped objects. “These were things like wet wells and lift stations that we created by combining tags, images and shapes,” says Wills. The large number of displays and objects was a challenge, “We didn’t have a lot of time so we had to make good use of our project management tools to make sure we were hitting milestones and avoiding duplication of work. We checked in with Katy every week to make sure we were meeting their operational needs. It all worked very well.” Hexberg agrees, “I am very happy with VTScada and the support Trihedral has provided to make this project a success.”

Supporting Local Integrators
Phase 1 called for Trihedral to create the first set of displays. In phase 2, the utility will use these examples to complete the Florin Reservoir, the Sacramento River Plant (and Intake), the Combined Water Treatment Plants (1 - 5), and the Pioneer Treatment Plants (1 - 2). The utility plans to hire a local contractor to handle some of this load. To assist the selection process, Trihedral hosted an informational webinar for interested integrators. Attendees learned about core VTScada features such as real-time configuration, simplified server architecture and application version control. 

Background Information
The following Report to City Council (.pdf) outlines the success criteria used during this selection process.

About Trihedral and VTScada
VTScada is all-in-one monitoring & control software for telemetry applications of any size. Trihedral’s large and satisfied customer base spans six continents. For 26 years, we have provided our customers with powerful reliable software and superior technical support. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Trihedral Engineering Limited

Trihedral Engineering Limited