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Water monitoring


Achieving smarter operation and maintenance in water applications


Water treatment plant (WTP) and wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) operators are increasingly supporting better decision-making by utilising the digitalisation capabilities available through instrumentation and plant management systems. David Lincoln, digital lead for ABB Measurement and Analytics in the UK, explains how these capabilities can help to boost plant and process performance by providing the data needed for smarter operation and maintenance


operated. In recent years, a growing array of digital functions have found their way into measuring instruments and analysers that have helped to transform efficiency, particularly in the areas of diagnostics and maintenance. Successful adoption of digitalisation starts


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with identifying the right balance of tools (i.e., web-networked instrumentation) and systems (i.e., analytical data management software). Maximising the value, however, is as much about exercising a mind-set of efficiency as it is about tracking raw numbers. At the most basic level, WTP/WWTP managers


implement digitalisation to improve their snapshot view and understanding of what is happening in their current operations. At the highest levels, they leverage it strategically for improving customer satisfaction, balancing allocation of capital, and supporting better decision-making in day-to-day business, financial, and water-treatment activities. In all cases, digitalisation provides a platform for enabling more consistent operations without


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dvances in digital technology are opening new possibilities way in which water and wastewater treatment plants are


getting users bogged down in the overhead or technicalities of a large data processing structure. Beyond physical operations, digitalisation also


provides ancillary value as a means of adapting to changing patterns in labour force dynamics in water treatment operations large and small.


GeTTinG The MosT froM DiGiTALisATion Taking maximum advantage of the promise that digitalisation has to offer requires thinking beyond existing operations. It requires an attitude where change management, communication, and training are just as important as technology tools. Employing that broader perspective helps users envision more all- encompassing solutions rather than simply automating existing instrumentation functionality. The strategic benefits


offered by more comprehensive data collection and management can include: diverse data collection;


April 2019 Instrumentation Monthly


comprehensive data analysis; control-oriented data management; customisable dashboards; data- driven decision-making; and reduced cost measurement. The following is a summary of the strategic benefits on offer.


Diverse DATA coLLecTion Some intelligent instrumentation provides added- value data for end users beyond its primary function. For example, some chemical analysers


The ATS430 turbidity and TSS sensing system features a digital sensor and transmitter that can be automatically linked with no need for wiring or complicated configuration settings


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