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Case Studies

Clean water due to reliable plant control by using PROFIBUS (Germany)


The Project

The company “Stadtentwässerung und Umweltanalytik Nürnberg” (SUN) is a pioneer in the application of modern automation technology in the water/wastewater industry. This results from the trend to large plants together with the high demand to achieve reliable and exact operation so as to be able to meet the strict requirements imposed by regulations for environment protection. This necessitates a high level of plant availability and for this reason, the decision to utilize PROFIBUS technology in Nuremberg was taken early on. The PROFIBUS fieldbus system has proved itself successfully in various sectors of the manufacturing and process industry. To take full advantage of this modern technology, full use should be made of professional consulting during planning, installation, commissioning and the training of staff.

The Solution

Armed with the experience of limited plant availability in the beginning, SUN contacted the PI member Indu-Sol, known as an expert service partner with know-how and practical expertise. Indu-Sol produces relevant measurement techniques such as the line tester (PROFtest II) or measurement tools for quality monitoring of data traffic (INspektor). An intense joint effort resulted with the training of SUN staff, optimization and permanent monitoring of their plants together with the development of test procedures needed for the installation of new fieldbus segments. The same procedure was followed when the first PROFIBUS PA plant was installed in Nuremberg. The long-term reliability of the SUN plants has demonstrated the success of this concept.


As SUN is one of the first companies in the water/wastewater industry to rely on the PROFIBUS technology, a comparison of the achievements at SUN with other applications within this branch is not possible. Initial difficulties experienced in the application of this new technology were able to be mastered with the support of a competent partner. Powerful technologies like PROFIBUS produce full user benefits once they have been appropriately introduced into the plant. They require correct installation as well as the usage of measurement tools so as to be able to detect possible interference in the quality of the communication before these problems cause plant outages. Problems can be intermittent or permanent and once detected, the causes can be eliminated before they cause an interruption in plant operation.
The PROFIBUS & PROFINET International organisation provides this quality service to the users by making use of specialized member companies, leading to a win-win situation for all partners.

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