University of Cincinnati, OH Success Story

The University of Cincinnati uses Wonderware's automation & information software
to handle real-time data collection to better supervise their utility plants.

University of Cincinnati Modernizes Coal-Fired Utilities With Addition of FactorySuite™ HMI, Database Modules

Univeristy of Cincinnati, OH Success StoryCincinnati, Ohio — The University of Cincinnati is one of the oldest higher education institutions in the United States, tracing its origins back to 1819 when it was founded as Cincinnati College and the Medical College of Ohio. The university has always been a leader among educational institutions. Many of the campus buildings were designed by avant-garde architects from various eras. This includes designers such as Samuel Hannaford in the early 1900s and Cambridge 7 today.

The university is now part of Ohio's state university system and is one of only 88 institutions classified as a Research I University by the Carnegie Commission. The university's campus is situated in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, near the banks of the Ohio River and the border with the neighboring state of Kentucky. With about 35,000 students who populate well over 100 buildings situated on more than 420 acres of land, the University of Cincinnati is like a small city within a city. And like any city, it operates its own utilities department to make sure that its resident population of students, faculty and administration are served with appropriate levels of heating, ventilating, air conditioning, electrical power and water and wastewater systems.

The university has three central utility plants that deliver up to 635,000 pounds of steam per hour for heating and nearly 22,000 tons of chilled water for use in classrooms and laboratories at both the school and its affiliated University Hospital. As impressive as these facilities are, the university was faced in recent years with a problem of aging equipment and inefficient control systems.

The Facilities Management department had to upgrade systems for meeting growing demand for heat and power while making the most efficient use of energy sources. They also had to reduce the cost of operating the utility plants. They wanted to convert from proprietary distributed control systems, which tied them tightly to a proprietary equipment supplier, and install open control systems that the university staff could maintain on its own.

They accomplished both goals with the design of new control and computing systems by Fosdick & Hilmer, an engineering and systems integration firm based in Cincinnati. They based the new operations on Wonderware's FactorySuite automation software products, including the InTouch human-machine interface (HMI) software, the IndustrialSQL Server real-time relational database, ActiveFactory and AlarmSuite.

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