Remote monitoring in the age of COVID-19

Advances in digital monitoring, including the ongoing growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), are helping to drive efficiency improvements in a wide range of sectors; but, in particular, connected technology has the potential to revolutionise the water and wastewater sector.  

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it forced companies to think and act differently in spite of challenging odds. Many companies needed to maintain operational levels while also working under the constraints of social distancing practices and work from home requirements. The use of remote monitoring on site has driven manufacturing efficiency and performance safely, without jeopardizing personnel. It can be argued that given the circumstances of the pandemic, the use of digital monitoring has become the most important technology for companies to utilise. 

EcoLab Contamination Control, a global leader in water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services, is part of that trend, as one of VWT UK’s customers that has implemented its AQUAVISTA™ Portal at its site.  The technology provides real-time performance optimisation of water treatment facilities to help companies achieve lower operational costs. It can help optimise the lifespan of assets and increase capacity, often without additional capital investment. 

Jamie Hughes, Engineering Manager at EcoLab Contamination Control commented: “We only have one plant on site here and due to its production capabilities, it is important that we have maximum visibility of its condition, performance and operational status 24/7. We invested in AQUAVISTA™ Portal because it allows us to maintain and monitor the plant and it is also a great way for us to get technical knowledge without our engineers having to travel back and forth to site.” 

Veolia Water Technologies UK introduced its AQUAVISTA™ (now part of Hubgrade) digital services platform in 2019. The versatility of AQUAVISTA™ means it can be applied to industrial and municipal water treatment plants as well as life sciences and healthcare applications.

With the AQUAVISTA™ Portal offering, Internet enabled monitoring devices are installed on all relevant equipment, which securely feeds data back to the AQUAVISTA™ platform. The information is aggregated and displayed in real time on an intuitive dashboard overview that can be tailored to the specific needs of the site. The data, which is stored securely and protected by advanced cyber-security at every stage, is accessible to the users at any time, from any location and on any connected device through a private portal.

The team at Ecolab have been able to use the AQUAVISTA™ system as a central hub for recording data, generating service reports, and reviewing the operational status of the plant. In addition, the company’s engineers have been using the digital monitoring system to track water production and energy consumption, in order to keep energy usage, and costs, down. As all the data collected by AQUAVISTA™ Portal is stored securely on the cloud, it is accessible to users from any location, allowing the Ecolab team to review weeks of data at a time. 

Jamie Hughes continues “AQUAVISTA™ Portal is one of the best cloud-based portals available on the market. The system allows us to react much quicker to changes in output, energy usage and functionality, which benefits us from a cost perspective. As it is a single portal where all our data is stored, we are able to work collaboratively as a team because we can all see the latest plant information on one system at the same time.  

“From a customer perspective, this system and the additional support I receive from VWT’s customer services team has shown me that we are not just paying for a technology, but for a service that has truly gone above and beyond,” said Jamie. 

Companies across the sector are embracing new digital monitoring technologies more than ever in order to meet product demand and ever more stringent quality standards. In the current climate, the remote control and monitoring allowed by the AQUAVISTA™ range of products, can also help companies to keep their plant staff safe and off site as much as possible. By utilising a digital monitoring system like AQUAVISTA™, process engineers and site operators have all the relevant information at their fingertips for faster, more informed decision-making.

 

 Click here to find out more about AQUAVISTA™ Portal and the other digital solutions in the AQUAVISTA™ range.

 

William Jeal

About the Author

William Jeal

William has a background of working with a wide range of industrial, public sector and municipal customers. William's career in the water sector started with a start up services business focused on working with commercial, industrial and public sector organisations to manage their water and wastewater usage, costs and environmental compliance. Having grown and developed this business for 5 years William then joined Veolia Water Technologies in 2015 to focus on growing its wastewater technologies activities in the Municipal market. In 2019 William took responsibility for leading Veolia's Municipal Services Business as well as its Digital Services Business across all sectors in the UK. With a strong focus on commercial and service innovation William has been responsible for a number of development projects including involvement in the development of Veolia’s global AQUAVISTA platform of real time control and optimization services.