Partnering for sustainable successWaterForce developed SCADAfarm, an integrated automation and information management platform built on EcoStruxure and Microsoft Azure technologies. With more control and visibility into operations, farmers are reporting up to 50% energy savings in the first season.
The Challenge• Critical resource: Agriculture accounts for nearly 70% of the world’s water consumption. By 2050, it is predicted that water demand will need to increase by 55% to support the food requirements of our growing global population. Water is a finite resource, so optimizing its usage is essential.
• Cost-effective approach: Farmers operate in an extremely cost-sensitive and labor-intensive environment. Taking advantage of new technologies is critical to remain competitive and keep operating costs to a minimum.
• Advanced capabilities: The solution was required to automate the irrigation system, provide visibility of system status and performance, and help reduce the burden of compliance. In addition, it needed to be simple to set up and easy to use, without the need for heavy IT overheads or large capital expenditure (CapEx).
• Industrial efficiency and sustainability: To make their vision a reality, WaterForce needed deep industrial domain experience; an open, interoperable, IoT-enabled system with support for edge control and industrial analytics; plus, a shared commitment to energy management and sustainability.
The SolutionConnectivity and Efficiency with EcoStruxure™
Apps, Analytics & Services : AVEVA’s Insight and SmartGlance Mobile Reports*
Edge control : EcoStruxure Geo SCADA Expert, SCADAPack RTUs
Connected products : Altivar Process variable speed drives, Trio Q data radios
• Innovation At Every Level: Powered by EcoStruxure Industry, SCADAfarm is an integrated automation and information management platform that delivers farmers real-time visibility into system status and performance – anywhere, anytime and on any device – for better, faster decisions and more effective irrigation.
• Scalable for growth: The solution is infinitely scalable to adapt to their ever-changing requirements. System updates are handled seamlessly through the cloud, so there is no IT burden for farmers.
• Complete water management portal: SCADAfarm helps farmers monitor and control irrigation systems spread over a wide geographical area and multiple properties. It gives complete access to irrigation and wastewater systems from anywhere in the world via smartphone, tablet or PC. Farmers can turn water on and off, set pivot speed and direction, check water pressure and soil moisture levels, change watering depth, and more – all at the touch of a button.
• New business opportunities: Increased visibility into data is not just a benefit for farmers, but for WaterForce too. As the solution builder, WaterForce is now able to offer a range of new value-added services such as remote monitoring, troubleshooting and fault diagnosis, and even benchmarking studies.
*The Schneider Electric industrial software business and AVEVA have merged to trade as AVEVA Group plc, a UK listed company. The Schneider Electric and Life is On trademarks are owned by Schneider Electric and are being licensed to AVEVA by Schneider Electric.
The ResultsWaterForce has already installed the plug-and-play SCADAfarm remote monitoring and control technology on dozens of Valley Center Pivots. Recorded benefits to date include:
• Improved operational performance and crop yields
• Saved time by allowing farmers to view equipment status from anywhere, anytime, and on any device, instead of driving for hours to check on valuable irrigation equipment
• Enhanced safety procedures by pre-setting safe stop locations for pivots in case of high winds and providing the ability to stop equipment remotely should someone need to enter the irrigation field
• Significant energy savings, for example. one farm recorded a 50% reduction in energy costs in the first season, by shifting irrigation behaviour and taking advantage of off-peak energy rates
• Better management of water and wastewater across the farm, and easier compliance with regulatory requirements
“To transform the way we farm, we need a trusted cloud platform that is as global and local as our own industry.”
Craig Blackburn, Director/Farm Manager, Blackhills Farm, New Zealand