Future-proofing the present

Achieving “smart water” must be viewed as a transformative journey, according to Manish Sharma, industry marketing leader of energy and water for Emerson’s PACSystems portfolio. Speaking with Water & Wastewater Asia, Sharma expands on the process of using Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to digitally transform water distribution and treatment process.

Manish Sharma, industry marketing leader of energy and water for Emerson’s PACSystems portfolio.

What is the process like when it comes to the implementation of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)?
Manish Sharma:
“Smart water” is a concept of controlling and monitoring the water treatment and distribution infrastructure using the IIoT architecture and devices. This control system philosophy uses Edge controllers, advanced instrumentation; and enables better monitoring, control and predictive capabilities of the infrastructure.

For incremental results, we look at several progressive iteratives in the process:

  • Method: Know the current system state
  • Diagnose: Understand causes and effects
  • Predict: Use the information to predict and avoid problems like equipment breakdowns or critical process deviations
  • Optimise: Use the information to improve efficiency
  • Learn: Learn how to forecast operational behaviours

Most existing infrastructure only uses the first two steps, which means they only reap the benefits of the monitoring and diagnosis stages. Once you’re able to break through the next stage, better results start coming through.

New systems must be designed keeping this journey in mind, and the plant’s control philosophy must include provisions for data storage, IIoT-enabled capabilities, and use of edge controllers to communicate with data clouds. Plant managers must have clearly-defined KPIs like reduction in water loss, energy consumption optimization, and a commitment to move from calendar- or hour-scheduled to condition-based maintenance.

The basic steps to accomplish each of these goals are:

  • Identify the I/O points to be monitored
  • Identify or install instruments to monitor these data points
  • Incorporate Edge controllers suitable for connecting to these data points and processing them, or communicating them to high level systems
  • Historise these data points as timestamped values, so they are available for analysis.

The full article is published on the latest edition of Water & Wastewater Asia May/Jun 2021 issue. To continue reading the article, click here.