Virtual Program Day 3 - November 5th
All Sessions in Central US Time Zone

9:00 AM - Virtual Conference Presentations

Front Line O&M Remote Connected Workers

Edward Nugent, Senior Advisor  PcVue Inc.


SCADA supervises operations and maintenance (O&M) across a wide cross section of automation in the energy, industry, infrastructure and Building Automation System (BAS) fields.  A growing trend is the enhancement of SCADA to improve support for front-line O&M remote connected workers.


The Operations Department and the Maintenance Department in many companies has historically operated in separate silos.  This created organizational resistance to what thought leaders were proposing to their management.  Namely a holistic system providing operational views to maintenance personnel. The pandemic has broken down those barriers as companies deal with the larger business continuity issues.

In the midst of the pandemic, it is difficult to gauge the impact to the workplace of the future.  Leading companies were developing and deploying remote connected worker technology prior to covid-19.  Adoption has accelerated as a response to the pandemic.   The future of remote connected workers in the post pandemic world is looking like a permanent part of the “new normal”.

9:45 AM - Virtual Presentation

Optimizing Pipelines with Machine Learning Decision Support

Dean Anderson, Energy Lead  Willowglen Systems

Machine learning (ML) enhanced decision support is becoming popular across a variety of industries. Applying ML to a pipeline is a logical next step this new form of automation. Also, the nature of pipelines lends itself particularly well to the use of ML decision support. Operators must consider a multitude of ever changing operational variables when managing flow rates. Even senior operators cannot be expected to control the infrastructure for optimal performance in all conditions. Decision support gives the operator the recommendations necessary for optimized flow management.

We will step the audience through the process we took to successfully deploy ML models for pipelines in Canada and the US. It starts with identifying the goals, needs, or pain points of the operation. All organizations would like to lower their total cost of operations. However, for pipelines, other requirements can include decreasing the quantity of drag reducing agent (DRA) used, increasing safety, reducing electricity usage, maximizing throughput, and more holistic operator training.

Deploying ML models is dependent on the comfort level of the organization and anticipating that comfort levels will change over time. There are three key ways to deploy an ML model ranging from decision support to autonomous optimization:
1. Manual - Runs parallel in the system as a final check,
2. Semi-autonomous - Integrated and changes pop up as a confirmation or notification
3. Autonomous - Optimizes decisions and changes settings accordingly

Artificial intelligence, ML, and automation integrated with SCADA is a significant trend we see across multiple industries. The whole Energy Sector, not just pipelines, could greatly benefit from ML models. Just think, if a single pipeline with six pumps can realize savings of over $1 million every year, what could you be saving?

10:30 AM - Virtual Presentation

Case Study: Florence, AZ Smart Water/City Platform Development

Brent Billingsley, Town Manager • Florence, Arizona

The presentation will discusses Florence Arizona's development of a Smart City infrastructure system that allows them to aggregate and analyze real-time data to improve efficiency, reduce cost and waste. The platform utilizes open architecture, open-source software, security, data storage and machine learning. Technology included in this system include IoT sensors for water meters/AMI, fleet management, lighting, thermostats, alarms, LoRaWan, and HMI, al networked to a main SCADA hub. Technology partners include: T-Mobile, Mueller & SmartWater, IoT Advent, Zayo, Electrum Foundation, Ferguson and Subex.    

11:15 AM - Virtual Presentation

Cybersecurity Best Practices for SCADA Networks

John Christly, VP and CISO Core Business Solutions


In this session Mr. Christly will discuss the concept of creating a secure enclave for these systems to run in that is designed with the proper security that is needed to prevent system infiltration and data loss. Along with a proper network and system design are the monitoring and alerting that should be in place to detect anomalies, which can be difficult to attain without the assistance of a vendor that provides the needed software and monitor service to be alerted to issues including computer viruses, ransomware, or remote access by a bad actor.


From a business perspective this session will look at best practices such as budgeting for these types of project expenses, and ways to align policies and procedures to ensure the trust and support of the constituents being served by SCADA systems. This presentation will also discuss ways in which SCADA operators can participate in programs designed to share threat information and help to enhance the security awareness of all members of a SACDA support team to ensure compliance and security.