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Why Choose DFS?

Data Flow Systems, Inc. (DFS) was established in 1981 to manufacture SCADA solutions specifically for water and wastewater utilities in Florida. DFS has gained national recognition for its durable and obsolescence-proof TAC II SCADA System, as well as its technical capabilities and guaranteed radio links. Today, DFS is recognized as an industry leader, providing remote monitoring and control for remote facilities, and water & wastewater treatment plant automation systems. Our latest product, "Symphony – Harmonious Pump & Flow Management" has been proven to significantly reduce lift station pump run times and pumping energy costs.

The Company's corporate headquarters is located in Melbourne, Florida and consists of a 30,843 square foot facility encompassing sales, engineering, radio study and licensing, customer service, product manufacturing, certified UL-508 panel shop, and warehousing. We currently employ over 50 full-time employees – all dedicated to water and wastewater SCADA systems and applications.

With our combination of design, installation, and service capabilities, DFS offers complete SCADA solutions. Emphasis is placed on developing long-term relationships as the supplier of choice for SCADA applications. At the present time there are over 250 individual TAC II SCADA Systems with more than 10,000 RTUs installed and operational throughout the United States. DFS’ TAC II SCADA System installation base ranges from small Water Control Districts to large WW Collection Systems, and Automated Plant Control Systems. Our single largest user, Collier County Florida, currently has over 700 DFS RTUs for the monitor and control of their sewer lift stations.

The sections below further explain why you should choose DFS for your next SCADA project.

A True Obsolescence-Proof System

The average life of a SCADA system in the water and wastewater utilities market is around seven to ten years. While poor design and selection of materials accounts for the premature demise of many systems, it is more often technical obsolescence of the system that brings about its end.

Although the DFS TAC II SCADA System is designed to withstand the effects of Florida's harsh environmental conditions, careful planning in the engineering and design phase produced a system that has also achieved "technical durability." The TAC II SCADA System is a continuously evolving system for nearly 36 years, and all new products maintain a downward compatibility with all older versions - allowing a utility to maximize their investment over the long term.

Over the years utilities have purchased new and improved DFS products to expand the "original installation." All DFS products incorporate current state-of-the-art technology, but maintain downward compatibility with older versions, demonstrating an obsolesce-proof design that can be found in no other SCADA system.

All DFS I/O modules, Pump Controllers, Powers Supply Modules and Radio Interface Modules are completely backward compatible with older versions and revisions of like type. New products are designed with pin-for-pin compatibly of like type and require no rewiring, adjustments, straps or configuration adjustments (plug and play).

In addition, DFS provides support and repair for every TAC II SCADA product that we have ever manufactured. DFS does not have "generation systems" with a limited life cycle of availability and support. No matter how old, if we built it we will service it. DFS doesn't require annual maintenance contacts or renewal support program fees.

Industry Leading Customer Service

DFS has relied heavily on service and support to succeed in the SCADA business. This is the key ingredient to establishing and maintaining a long term relationship with our customers. The following valuable services are available from DFS, most of which are provided free of charge.

  • DFS' Service Department is on call 24/7/365. Telephone support during normal working hours is offered without charge for the life of the system.
  • The Hyper SCADA Server (HSS) incorporates a maintenance-modem that allows DFS to provide on-line factory-assisted remote troubleshooting support via phone line – which is also free service to our customers during normal working hours.
  • Most system operational issues are settled over the HSS maintenance-modem and do not require an on-site visit, resulting in immediate resolution of your problem and eliminating on-site visit costs.
  • Free updates and future releases of DFS' HT3 SCADA software for the life of your system. In addition, HT3 includes unlimited I/O point count and there is no additional charge for client licenses.
  • Upgrades to RTU firmware are provided over the radio link free of charge.
  • Automatic HMI screens are generated in the HSS upon RTU configuration.
  • Automated configuration of a spare TCU pump-controller "over the radio link."
  • All DFS Service Department technicians are full-time DFS employees - not third-party instrumentation and control technicians contracted to maintain our systems. DFS Value Adder Resellers (VARs) also utilize factory-certified full-time employees.
  • Two weeks out of each year (January and July), DFS offers a Basic Operations training course - free of charge - to all of our customers. This is a one-day eight-hour course and is held in our Melbourne, FL Training Facility.

DFS' TAC II SCADA system was designed so that its operation is easily operated by utility personnel. This fact, coupled with the fast and efficient support offered by DFS, means that a utility does not need to bolster its infrastructure with additional I & C personnel in order to operate and maintain the SCADA system.

"Symphony - Harmonious pump & flow management" is a patented technology that is available only from Data Flow Systems, Inc. (DFS). Symphony utilizes SCADA to coordinate the system-wide operation of sewer lift stations for the purpose of reducing force main pressures and equalizing flow into a master lift station and/or wastewater treatment plant. The result is a significant reduction in energy costs and a solution to daily peak-flow problems.

Symphony requires the use of a DFS Hyper SCADA Server (base station) and the TAC Pack TCU (pump-controller RTU) at each lift station. A combination of functions provided by both the Hyper SCADA Server and TAC Pack TCU are utilized by Symphony.

Pump Management

In this facet, Symphony is essentially a coordinator that addresses the random asynchronous operation of each lift station operating on a common force main. Symphony synchronizes the pumping activity on a minute-by-minute basis. Head pressures are reduced and pumps begin to operate more effectively and efficiently. The results are diminished pump-run-times, less maintenance costs, and a reduction in pump energy expenses!

Flow Management

Peak-flow problems occur in a collection system several times a day. There are opportunities to reduce peak flow in virtually every collection system. Symphony employs a technique that levels the flow by systematically managing the peaks and valleys over a 24 hour period. Overflows at the head-works can be prevented, the need for equalization basins may be eliminated and the biological treatment systems work more efficiently.

Radio Communications Experts

DFS personnel are extremely meticulous when it comes to radio communications. No amount of attention to HMI software or RTU hardware can overcome a poor radio communications link. This most critical area is commonly overlooked by many suppliers and integrators. DFS brings an abundance of RF experience and communications tools to a SCADA project. Consider that:

  • We have designed six generations of radio interface modules encompassing in the area of 50 different models. All maintaining our obsolescence-resistant design and plug & play capability.
  • We have designed over 10,000 successful radio links throughout the US. Many in mountainous locations throughout California, North Carolina and South Carolina.
  • Our HT3 SCADA software program includes built-in radio diagnostics that categorizes messages and communications errors for fast and efficient analysis. It also includes an automated method for proper antenna alignment at each RTU location.
  • Radio links to and from each site are independently analyzed by our radio department and designed for maximum communications efficiency.
  • Our radio links are conservatively designed with a minimum 15-20 db fade margin so that communications can continue even after losing up to 97% of potential signal strength.
  • All of our installation and service personnel are trained to analyze signal strength and to recognize the origin of a result that fails to meet our rigid standards.
  • Our radio department has nearly 50 years experience in RF communications.
  • We have access to the FCC database and assume the responsibility for frequency selection and radio licensing on the user’s behalf.
  • We guarantee our radio link designs!

Open Architecture System

  • DFS Hardware and Software supports multiple Modbus Protocols (Modbus ASCII, Modbus RTU and Modbus TCP).
  • The TAC II SCADA System uses an SQL database, which provides the ability to easily and quickly export data for use in other applications such as CMMS systems, GIS Systems, Microsoft Access, Excel, and many more specialized statistical and mathematical analysis applications.
  • The architecture of the TAC II SCADA System and components are straight forward and virtually anyone can be trained to service the system with minimal instruction. The logical simplicity of the SCADA Software and plug-and-play nature of the RTU products allow a user to easily identify a problem module and field replace with a spare. The problem module is simply sent to DFS for factory diagnosis and repair.
  • The RTU I/O modules do not have special configuration switches, straps, or programs and can be easily added by the user without assistance from DFS. All RTU I/O modules are interchangeable from one RTU to another, as well as system to system.
  • The TCU Pump Controller is user configurable via the onboard keypad & display, via laptop with included software, and even over the radio from the HSS.
  • Actual PLC programs and Ladder Logic Programs, if used, are provided to user.
  • The system supports eight (8) communication drivers, with each driver supporting up to 505 RTUs. There are no additional license fees to expand the system or to utilize multiple drivers.
  • The system includes unlimited I/O points (tags).
  • The system includes unlimited client seats (workstations) will full development capability (view, configure, build screens, reports, etc.).
  • Service and support from DFS is available for the life of the system. Maintenance contracts or annual support programs are not required. Telephone support during normal working hours is offered without charge for the life of the system.
  • DFS is willing to train system users to know their systems as well as we do. Our installation procedures do not include practices that require customers contact DFS to service and troubleshoot the system. Although some users prefer this approach, we are willing to train users to the extent they desire. Many system users buy RTUs and parts direct and perform the installations themselves..

Special Projects Department

All of our special projects are assigned to our Systems Engineering Department. We define “special projects” as Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) applications that require customized panels and/or programmable logic controllers (PLCs) for use in our SCADA Systems. These applications range from complex pump stations to complete plant control systems. DFS is a certified UL-508 panel shop. We design and build both off-the-shelf and custom RTU panels to the highest standards of customer expectations. RTUs can be labeled and certified UL 508A. All wiring is in accordance with the latest N.E.C. codes and J.I.C (Joint International Committee) conventional standards.

Our Systems Engineering Department provides complete engineering of your panel package, specifying the size, material, mounting, layout and wiring. All panels are manufactured using the highest quality components from our suppliers or customer specified suppliers. Every panel built must pass a rigid performance acceptance test before leaving the factory. Every input and output is thoroughly checked and documented.

Our approach ensures proper operation upon delivery. We provide PLC programming, customized graphical HMI screens, installation, commissioning and startup services, including training of operator personnel and technicians. Operations and Maintenance Manuals are provided for each panel and include a descriptive control strategy, hardware and software configurations, final electrical and mechanical drawings, HMI screen illustrations, PLC program, bill of materials and component specifications.

Surge Protection Features

DFS equipment incorporates exceptional surge protection features as a standard practice. DFS Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) are designed for the high incidence of lightning in Florida and include a THREE YEAR LIGHTNING WARRANTY.

The following are standard with DFS Systems and RTU products:

  • Multiple staged surge protection is provided for all power supply and power monitoring circuits and is equipped with both energy limiting and clamping circuits with slow blow fuses designed for overload conditions. This design provides a very high level of non-destructive transient immunity. With the exception of a direct lightning strike, the surge protection will safeguard the unit’s power supply and power monitoring circuits from damage due to voltage transients. Circuit protection is designed to withstand multiple transients in excess of 6500 volts, 3250 amps, without damage. Damage is limited to a blown fuse when exposed to larger transients.
  • All RTU I/O module INPUTS have built-in M.O.V. surge protection, Transorb surge protection, and Opto-isolators to increase protection.
  • All RTU I/O module OUTPUTS have built-in M.O.V. surge protection and are Opto-isolated. An inline external fuse is also utilized. The size of the inline external fuse is dictated by the device it controls.
  • The radios are protected from electrical surge or transients entering through the coaxial cable by use of a Polyphaser coaxial cable surge protector.
  • The Master Radio is connected to the Hyper SCADA Server via fiber optic cable, isolating the Server from electrical surge over the RF link.

Quality Training Programs

DFS offers top quality training - at your location or ours - on all DFS hardware and software products. While there is a charge for training courses, we do offer FREE TRAINING to all of our customers twice a year at our Melbourne, Florida facility.

Training classes consist of a lecture-based presentation, demonstration and practical exercise. Each student is given time to practice the various activities introduced during the classroom presentation.

The standard training classes that are included with the TAC II SCADA system are defined below. Please note that additional training courses are available to accommodate the level of expertise and capability that a system user desires to establish.

DFS-100 Basic Operations - Students learn the basics of the DFS Hyper SCADA Server (HSS) system. This is a lecture-based and practical exercise course. Attendees learn how to login and out, navigate graphic and text screens, evaluate graphical and text telemetry displays, acknowledge alarms, and generate reports. Prerequisites: Students need basic computer skills. The course is limited to four attendees for quality transfer of knowledge and instructor-student interface.

DFS-200 Advanced Operations - Students will create new station configurations and implementing changes to existing stations. They will also create, edit and delete partitions, create user accounts, drivers, and alarms. How to set up 911 contacts and schedules will be addressed, as will the use of the traffic monitor tool. Prerequisites: Students need to be familiar with topics covered in DFS-100 Basic Operations and have manager access to the system. The course is limited to four attendees for quality transfer of knowledge and instructor-student interface.

"The Best Warranty In The Business"

Includes 3 Year Lightning Warranty - No Service Contracts Required!

Product Warranty: DFS products carry a one (1) year warranty against defects in material and workmanship. The product warranty will be in effect for a period of one (1) year from the date of system acceptance or fifteen (15) months from the date of product delivery, whichever comes first.

When installed with factory required surge protection, all Plug-in Function Modules, Telemetry Control Units, Power Supply Modules and Radio Interface Modules carry an extended two (2) year return-to-factory warranty. Products that carry an extended warranty are covered against damage due to lightning and surge for the entire three-year period.

DFS will repair or replace at its option, F.O.B. Melbourne, Florida, any part or parts of its products, which become defective during this warranty period. When returning parts to DFS, a Return Authorization (RA) must be obtained by contacting our Melbourne Factory Repair Center via telephone at 321-259-5009 or by email at RA@dataflowsys.com.

Software Warranty: The HT3 SCADA Software is warranted for as long as it is in use by the Owner. All HT3 SCADA Software upgrades are provided to the Owner, via our website at www.dataflowsys.com, free of charge. If the Owner elects to receive the upgrade on CD, a $50.00 handling fee will apply. For on-site upgrade services, please request a quotation by contacting our Service Department via telephone at 321-259-5009 or by email at .

Onsite Installation Warranty: When DFS product has been installed and/or on-site inspected by a DFS certified technician, on-site warranty services are provided for one (1) year, from the date of system acceptance, covering defects in installation, material and workmanship. The one year onsite installation warranty also includes 24/7 factory phone support. On-site warranty services must be initiated by contacting our Service Department via telephone at 321-259-5009.

Phone Support: DFS provides factory phone-support, during normal business hours, for the life of the TAC II SCADA system. Normal business hours are weekdays, excluding holidays, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Eastern Time Zone. Factory phone-support outside of normal business hours, weekends and holidays will be charged against the current hourly rate. A one-hour minimum charge will apply. A dial-up phone line must be connected to the Hyper SCADA Server to receive full support. Contact our Service Department via telephone at 321-259-5009.


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