Block Valves and Pump Stations - Using IIoT to Improve Pipeline Efficiency

Jun 8, 2020

How can you improve pipeline efficiency?

By Jon Tandy

We know from our experience with gas, petroleum and water pipeline operators that sharing information between block valves and pump stations is an important step.

Our team recently worked with officials from a major Midwestern liquids petroleum pipeline operator to improve communication between their block valves and pump stations. The company had been utilizing  MQ Telemetry Transcript (MQTT) protocol in its Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system for more than 20 years. However, previously, the SCADA system acquired the block valve data and then used communication scripts to send necessary data to the pump stations - adding delays to a critical system and increasing the processing burden in the control system.

With our Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solution, officials began using MQTT protocol in a peer-to-peer fashion - automating the delivery of data directly from block stations to pump stations. Employing MQTT’s publish-subscribe architecture, the required block valve is now published on a unique “topic,” which is forwarded directly to a communication gateway at the pump station that is subscribed to the same topic. The SCADA system only receives the data it needs for pipeline operation and communication scripts have been eliminated.

Adding the peer-to-peer application to MQTT simplified the process and improved efficiency in order to better maintain this critical infrastructure. This method can also be used to share data between pump stations or for other applications where data needs to be shared among peer sites.

For more information about IIoT Solutions talk to Jon Tandy