Data Flow Systems, Inc. (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.

Company details

605 N. John Rodes Blvd., , Melbourne , FL 32934 USA

Locations Served

Business Type:
Manufacturer
Industry Type:
Water and Wastewater - Water Utilities
Market Focus:
Nationally (across the country)
Year Founded:
1981

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Established in 1981, Data Flow Systems has become an industry leading SCADA manufacturer and automation solutions provider for the water and wastewater industry. Recognized for our combination of project engineering, innovative design, integration services, and 24/7/365 customer support, DFS is able to supply complete solution packages. We have provided hundreds of SCADA Systems and thousands of RTUs throughout the United States. These systems range from small water control districts to large wastewater collection systems and automated process control applications. Our single largest customer has deployed the TCU pump-controller-RTU at over 700 remote sites.

Since 1981 when it was founded in the shadow of America's space program, DFS has endeavored to fill the need for technically-superior and cost-effective SCADA systems for the nation's water utilities. Although DFS initially limited its market to Florida in order to ensure the SCADA system's overall quality, including its installation and service, we now boast over 250 users in fifteen states.

From the beginning, DFS' philosophy has been straightforward:

Design a SCADA system that:

  • Is practical and cost effective
  • Is simple to operate and maintain
  • Is easy to upgrade and expand
  • Is obsolescence proof
  • Offers the best warranty in the business
  • Provides exceptional service and technical support

Within the envelope of this focus, the historical hallmarks of DFS SCADA systems have been:

  • Simplicity of design
  • Obsolescence-proof
  • Functional responsiveness
  • Performance oriented
  • Outstanding reliability
  • Expandable without reengineering or reprogramming
  • Low-complexity maintenance
  • Attention to human-factor issues

DFS possesses a rich background of corporate experience in automated water/wastewater management SCADA systems, as well as a combination of technical and management resources that possess specific knowledge of water utility operating environments.

All administrative, engineering, manufacturing and service divisions are located in DFS' modern, 31,000 square foot Corporate Campus in Melbourne, Florida. Nearly half of this facility is devoted to the manufacture of TAC II Telemetry Systems.

DFS possesses, in-house, all necessary resource personnel and capabilities to successfully handle, in a timely manner, all aspects of the manufacture, installation and service of our SCADA products.

The more significant of these capabilities include:

  • Hardware engineering staff
  • Software engineering staff
  • Systems engineering staff
  • 24-hour field service organization
  • FCC licensing and radio study services
  • Radio testing and repairs
  • Installation services
  • System assembly facilities
  • Online diagnostic support

Data Flow Systems offers quality SCADA products and services as well as exceptional, customized plant and facilities controls systems to water and wastewater utilities. Our radio and network telemetry systems are used nationwide by utilities in the quest to effectively serve the public. No matter how complex the issue, we have the resources to provide the solution. We design, manufacture, install, and service our products - never losing sight of the customer's needs.

Dedication

In 1981, Data Flow Systems, Inc. began developing their systems strictly for water-related industries. DFS focused on ease-of-use, longevity, and expansion without re-engineering. Since our first installation in 1982, we have installed, and continue to service, a substantial number of SCADA systems.

Leadership

Data Flow Systems does not follow industry trends - we create them. When we first entered this market, utilities were forced to use SCADA equipment developed for other industries. DFS saw a better way. We listened to the utility operators and designed a SCADA system specifically for them. DFS was the first SCADA manufacturer to offer a browser-based graphical interface to our software, allowing users multiple access points to the system without purchasing seat licenses.

Commitment

The strength of our SCADA products are reinforced by our commitment to them and their users. Our superior warranty, obsolescence-proof RTUs and free telemetry software upgrades make Data Flow Systems the clear choice. The first telemetry system installed in 1982 still uses much of the original remote hardware and has been able to take full advantage of all software and hardware upgrades.

Innovation

Data Flow Systems applies advanced technology and telemetering techniques to the real world challenges of water utility SCADA. The development of unique SCADA system features like the Web browser graphical user interface, pump and flow management, and lift station overflow prevention, demonstrates our innovative approach. Whatever the application – from basic lift stations to complex water production and treatment plants - DFS offers the knowledge and tools necessary to provide the right SCADA solution.

Information

We encourage our customers to get involved. Customers are trained in every aspect of the telemetry system. RTU I/O point configuration and the creation of custom status and control screens are standard training topics. DFS teaches customers how to install SCADA equipment and troubleshoot various aspects of the telemetry system. We are committed to our industry's professional education and development. We are involved in operator CEU education, support FW&PCOA's Short Schools and regional meetings and provide telemetry conceptual and technical training for utility organizations and related businesses.

Support

Data Flow Systems offers 24-hour, 7-days-a-week technical support from its Customer Service department. All service issues are addressed and resolved by factory-direct employees or factory-trained organizations. DFS understands the need for user training. Our training department offers a full range of classes either on the customers' site or in-factory.

Stability

Over our 34-year operating history, DFS has seen the arrivals and subsequent departures of many SCADA manufacturers and purveyors. During those years, we have demonstrated a persistence and an enduring stability that provide our customers with the assurance that we will always offer our support and stand behind our warranties.

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.

Data Flow Systems began as the brainchild of Tom Smaidris and his father, Frank.

Frank, having retired from the U. S. Air Force, had taken on the task of maintaining the telephone line telemetry system that monitored lift stations in the city of Melbourne. He expressed to Tom that the system was fraught with headaches and lacked reliability. Tom opined that the problem was in the phone lines and that could be easily solved by switching to radio communications. Frank issued a challenge to his son: 'If you think it's so easy, do it!'

Tom, whose work at Harris Corporation in Palm Bay included radio telemetry for satellite uplink systems, accepted the challenge, recruited his coworker, Brent Saunders, as his partner and started Data Flow Systems in 1981.

It was at this inception of DFS, in a 300 square foot office over a beauty salon in downtown Melbourne, Florida that the hallmarks of the DFS product line were set:

  • the design would be kept simple;
  • improvements would not require a change in the basic design;
  • the system would be user-friendly so that the average utility worker could take advantage of the system's capabilities;
  • the system would be geared toward high performance and rigid reliability;
  • the product would resist obsolescence;
  • we would offer the best warranty in the business;
  • customers wouldn't have to pay for software upgrades ... we'd give them away!

In 1982, DFS landed its first customer, Acme Improvement District (now the Town of Wellington in Palm Beach County). Tom and his dad actually installed those first RTUs, intended to control some distant well pumps, while Brent began directing the never-ending task of improving the system. Bryan Kattwinkel was brought onboard to develop the server software; engineering staff was added to develop the hardware. In 1989, Steve Whitlock joined DFS as the first Sales Manager.

The business plan actually called for DFS to design and manufacture the systems while the installation and service would be contracted to others. But their efforts to find a reliable installer that placed the same emphasis on quality control as they did produced little more than frustration. They made a decision that would further distinguish this upstart company -- DFS became the only telemetry company that designed, manufactured, installed and serviced their product.

During the later 1980s, the company moved into and grew out of a 3500 square foot area and, in the early 1990s, they took possession of a 12,000 square foot facility that allowed them to expand their services and capabilities to include custom control projects for water and wastewater plants. They had grown into one of the largest telemetry providers in the southeastern United States with over 100 water utility installations. DFS' name began to find its way to new parts of the country as carefully chosen value-added resellers in the northeastern states, the Carolinas, Texas and California began to introduce their regional customers to the DFS product line.

DFS continued its growth through the turn of the century. In 2002, they acquired a modern, 31,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Melbourne's industrial district. But this time, they made certain that there was room to expand without moving -- the facility is located on 17 acres.

After more than a quarter century, Tom Smaidris and Brent Saunders still steer the Data Flow Systems ship. Under their direction, DFS has become the largest provider of radio and network-based SCADA systems in the southeast United States. The TAC II telemetry system is now a touchstone in the industry and our systems engineering department has become one of the premier purveyors of custom plant and control systems. As of 2010, the ranks of our utility customers have swelled to over 250 systems with more than 10,000 installed RTUs in 15 states across the country.

The stage is set for continued growth over the next 25 years. We are proud of our products, our personnel and our progress and we are grateful for the loyalty of our customers and the opportunity to serve the water industry.