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RAAF Base Darwin – Fuel Farm 3: Comms Upgrade

Working for Decmil Australia, TopTroniX was engaged to upgrade the communications infrastructure of the existing Fuel Farm 3 at RAAF Base Darwin.
The existing inter-RTU communications was achieved using RS232 / RS422 serial <-> fibre optic modems, using dedicated fibre optic cabling between each RTU. However, this infrastructure didn’t lend itself well to fault finding, easy expansion, or support for future products.

So, TopTroniX designed, programmed, tested and commissioned a Cisco IE-3000 switch infrastructure throughout the farm. We re-tasked the existing fibre optic cabling, so no new cables were required to be hauled in… and we made use of Moxa serial <-> ethernet gateways, so no modifications to the existing inter-RTU coding was required. Using this approach allowed us to stage the cut-over to the new communications equipment, which meant minimal downtime to the RAAF. So much so, that to cut-over over 24 individual devices required a loss of total functionality for only a couple of hours.

Once the new infrastructure was in, additional comms links to the RTU’s meant the SCADA system could be brought back up to its original speed, which had degraded over years of expansions.

The end result? A stable, reliable communications backbone using industry leading network equipment, with better diagnostics… and a group of happy operators, as the farm was responding better than it had in years.

RAAF Base Darwin – Fuel Farm 3: Comms Upgrade Proposal

TopTroniX was requested to investigate the existing communications infrastructure at Fuel Farm 3, then provide a cost effective proposal to upgrade the infrastructure in preparation for new equipment into the future. At the same time, it was key to minimise the impact on the farm’s operation.

The result? Proposal won, project completed, happy customer, smiles all round! Check our projects section to read further information.

RAAF Base Darwin – Fuel Farm 7: Development Proposal

With the original controls contractor unable to deliver the system on time to suit the project’s constraints, TopTroniX was brought in towards the end of the Fuel Farm 7 project to provide a fee proposal to:

  • develop the RTU code and SCADA for monitoring and controlling of a new Fuel Farm at RAAF Base Darwin;
  • design the communications infrastructure to be used for the new Fuel Farm;
  • integrate the new Fuel Farm with the existing Fuel Farm at RAAF Base Darwin, allowing for fuel transfers; AND
  • complete the works in an exceptionally tight time-frame.

The farm itself was tasked with providing F34 + FSII fuel on demand, via a pressurised ring-main, to RAAF aircraft.

The outcome of the proposal? Well, as you’ll see in the Projects listing, we won the project and kicked some great goals!

PLC Upgrades

A lot of people can fault find existing PLC systems, and make them work reasonably well. But it takes a lot more skill to be able to build something from the ground up – something reliable, something logical and something easy to modify.

TopTroniX has developed numerous PLC systems from the ground up, across numerous platforms… And each of these systems has not only met client expectations, but exceeded them to the point that we don’t normally get called back because they work too well.

Sounds too good to be true? Maybe you should join the companies that are starting to see the benefits of a TopTroniX developed solution.

Process Optimisation

Do you feel like “something’s always going wrong??”… Or maybe “surely that can work better than that!?!”… Well, TopTroniX has had extensive experience in working with customers to get things running smoothly… From simple root-cause analysis (RCA) for full Six-Sigma projects, we’ve been involved in them all…

So if you want us to look at a small part of your process, to the entire site, trust in the fact that we have the skills and experience to do so. Contact us today to see what we can do to improve your bottom line, without the major price-tag.

Fault Finding

The staff at TopTroniX have spent years fixing issues within industrial control systems. Issues that have occurred because something’s failed, issues because something’s wearing out, or issues because something wasn’t done properly in the first place.

Our staff have a very logic mindset, something that’s essential when you’re trying to fault find a process that is, down to it’s core, logic! That’s what makes us not only good at fault-finding, but quick. It also allows us to visit a new site and, after reviewing some drawings and talking to the operators, resolve issues.

Why wait longer to get your plant running properly or, if things have gone pear-shaped, back online? Call us now and we’ll help you get on the right track.

RAAF Base Darwin – Fuel Farm 7: Development

Working for Territory Instruments then MacMahon, TopTroniX was engaged to develop the code and SCADA for monitoring and controlling of a new Fuel Farm at RAAF Base Darwin. The farm itself is tasked with providing F34 + FSII fuel on demand, via a pressurised ring-main, to RAAF aircraft.

The original controls contractor wasn’t able to deliver the system on time to suit the project’s constraints, so TopTroniX was brought in towards the end to complete the works in an exceptionally tight time-frame.

Added to this, the code (ladder logic) was being written in a new platform to TopTroniX’s experienced staff, a Kingfisher RTU (CP-12)… and all communications (inter-RTU / RTU – Tank gauging / RTU – SCADA) all had to be performed over RS-232.

The SCADA package was CitectSCADA, which TopTroniX has had extensive experience with. Towards the end of the project, the version of CitectSCADA had to be upgraded to allow for Windows 7 support, which was completed successfully and painlessly to the client.

Exhaustive fully documented testing and commissioning, both on the bench and in the field, has produced a reliable fully functioning Fuel Farm that the RAAF are happy to operate. TopTroniX also provided operator accepted user manuals, with simple step by step instructions on how to operate the farm.

Rumours on this project are that “Fuel Farm 7” is now looked to as a bench-mark for how they want future RAAF fuel farms to operate.

Johnston – Sewage Pumping Station

Working for Territory Instruments, TopTroniX was tasked with developing the code for controlling the newly built Sewage Pumping Station in Johnston.

Working closely with the Electrical construction company, we developed the PLC code (ladder logic in an Allen Bradley SLC500) and HMI (Allen Bradley PanelView) to suit the equipment and client specifications.

Once completing extensive workshop testing to confirm reliability, we performed field commissioning to tune for equipment interaction and double-check functionality. We also aligned data so PowerWater could remotely control and monitor the station.

Rumours are, this has been reported as “the best sewage pumping station in Darwin”… Why not contact us to find out why?

Tennant Creek Power Station – Unit 17 Generator

Working for Monadelphous, TopTroniX was engaged to commission Tennant Creek Power Station’s “Unit 17” gen-set. This gen-set was one of the two new “black-start” units to be commissioned, and had been installed years before hand but was never brought online.

We developed a detailed commissioning procedure that not only included the control system, but also the electrical interlocking & distribution network tests.

In the end, PowerWater ended up with a well commissioned gen-set available to come online at those times when it was needed the most!