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PROFIBUS in Water Industry: Field control first with PROFIBUS system by K Water


Korea Water Resource Corporation (K Water) chose PROFIBUS for its standard fieldbus. K Water evaluated PROFIBUS as leading fieldbus with open standard, wide range of products vendors & applications, and worldwide support. As the model case, K Water applied the PROFIBUS in its Filtration Plant and saved 30% of installation cost.

Moreover, K Water developed [Field control first with PROFIBUS system] by replacing the operating ability using PROFIBUS technology in case the main controller RCS (Remote Control System: DCS or PLC) fails. Currently, K Water spreads the PROFIBUS application to its water sourcing, pressurizing, total filtration, diverging points, and supplying plants.


With recent demands for open competition and standardization in water industry, cost saving is an important issue. However, conventional hardwired I/O system for remote control can not avoid its ineffective complexities, and increases the installation & maintenance cost year by year.

To improve these difficulties, K water implemented PROFIBUS in Filtration plant, and slimed the remote control system.

PROFIBUS suitable to Water Industries

K Water investigated all the fieldbuses to compare the specifications, available support and the devices. For objective validity in choosing the PROFIBUS as its standard fieldbus, K Water set up the technical consulting and working level committees.

Improvement using PROFIBUS slimed in Filtration Plant

Filtration process consists of several filter beds, and each bed includes motor valves (inlet, outlet, reverse washing, surface washing, way-out and drain valves) with local instruments (Level meter, Turbid meter). System configuration with PROFIBUS is as follows.(See Figure 1)

This configuration shows the replacement of the conventional RCS (DCS, PLC) which includes complicated hard wired FCC (Filter Control Console for local operation) by slimed PROFIBUS system with LOS (Local Operator’s Station).

This means cost saving by removal of expensive ineffective FCC with repeated hard wirings troubles. Following pictures shows the slimmed result of Filtration Plant using PROFIBUS.(See Figure 2)

Developed – Field control first with PROFIBUS system

Conventional analog signal transmission system includes the FCC (Filter Control Console for local operation) which is frequently troubled complicated console and requires so expensive costs for installation and maintenance.

PROFIBUS system removed this console and replaced this function by customized PROFICAPTAIN function of PROFIBUS using API.

Recently developed [Field control first with PROFIBUS system] is the most suitable way for K Water to replace so complicated FCC of local operation.

During normal time, LOS is operated as HMI with RCS including PROFIBUS devices for the system. In case the RCS faces problems, or local operation is necessary, LOS can control local devices directly by PROFIBUS only.

This LOS includes the PROFICAPTAIN (PROCENTEC) with customized screen using PROFICAPTAIN API for this function. By connecting this LOS through wireless mobile PC, operator can monitor the measurements and operate in front of the devices (Valve actuators, meters). With this PROFIBUS system, FCC for conventional local control can be removed.

This PROFIBUS system economized the ineffective cost of FCC by replacing the operation function with PROFIBUS system. This application concept to operate in front of the devices at necessary time using PROFIBUS is applicable to local controls in other systems such as waste water treatment and other plant control applications.

Expanding the PROFIBUS application to K Water plants, and configuring the Redundancy system

K Water experienced to practically applied PROFIBUS in Filtration plant to control the devices, and remove the FCC by replacing the functions by PROFIBUS. Currently, K Water expands PROFIBUS application to water sourcing, pressurizing, total filtration, diverging points, and supplying plants.

From year 2009, K Water plans to apply the PROFIBUS redundancy system for stable control even in case the BUS cable troubled.

Coming up with application of PROFIBUS in Water Industry

K Water led the PROFIBUS to be chosen in water industry system in Korea. At present, the system is configured with PROFIBUS using serial communication. K Water is studying Industrial Ethernet such as PROFINET to apply it when sufficient devices and components from Korea are available.

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