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A Gateway Solution for Monitoring Water Treatment Facilities


    For vital infrastructure like water supply facilities, availability and reliability are essential to successful water processing. However, recently the water supply industry has been faced with issues concerning maintenance, security, and the cost of management of their facilities.

    For small-scale water supply businesses in Japan, maintenance costs have hampered their ability to operate properly, resulting in increased desire to search for remote maintenance solutions which cover a large area of land. At the same time, communication specifications for data from various vendors differ for each site. Linking this data, often based on vendor-specific protocols, into one system is quite complicated. For a system which monitors water intake, water supply, water level, water quality, and other important parameters for the water supply industry, the vendors that supply the machinery use specialized system integrators, and the system specifications often remain undisclosed. This limits future system improvements by anyone other than the original system integrator (also known as a vendor-lock in). To meet these challenges, the need for standardized software and open systems is growing day by day.

    With open systems, maintenance can be performed by any system integrator, which lowers operational costs and raises system efficiency. While open networks sometimes suffer from increased vulnerability to cyberattacks, strengthened authentication and encryption using OPC UA offers reliable secure systems. Making a remote maintenance system that is both open and secure is possible by using DeviceGateway.

    The Takebishi Corporation’s DeviceGateway is an IoT Gateway unit which supports interfaces such as OPC UA and MQTT, and can communicate with over 320 series of devices like PLCs and sensors. In addition to SCADA, it is also able to connect to various cloud services such as AWS and Microsoft Azure, allowing its utilization in the social infrastructure field which intimately affects our daily lives. This article presents a use case of DeviceGateway within the Water Supply environment.

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