fountainAPEX Controls teams with Grand Valley State University  to Upgrade Controls on Grand Haven Musical Fountain

Recently APEX Controls engineers have worked in cooperation with GVSU students to upgrade the controls on the 50 plus year old Grand Haven Musical Fountain. The control system for the water valves has been replaced with an Allen-Bradley CompactLogix programmable logic controller (PLC) and PanelView Plus operator interface. The hardware was donated by Rockwell Automation.

Working under the direction of an APEX Controls engineer GVSU students rewrote the PLC and HMI software. The new hardware performed flawlessly for the 2014 show season.

An APEX Controls engineer has also rewritten the Playback Software which runs on a personal computer at the fountain. The new software was written in C++. It sends the music to the public address system and the water valve command codes to the Allen-Bradley PLC. It also controls the new LED lighting system directly over a DMX network. The new Playback Software will be ready for the 2015 system and will add new functionality to the LED lights which replaced the old lighting system (made from aircraft runway landing lights) in 2013.

fountain_controlsAdditionally, an APEX Controls engineer is leading another team of GVSU students to rewrite the Choreography Software which is used to create the musical presentations. This software if being written in JAVA so that it will be able to run on any home computer with the goal that anyone in the world may be able to develop and submit programs for the fountain. It is interesting to note that there is a young man in China that has successfully submitted numerous shows which are performed on the Grand Haven Musical Fountain.

APEX Controls is proud to be able to help our community and aspiring GVSU students in this way.