One of the hallmarks of a successful business is the act of continual improvement. For those working in the water industry, a new way to improve water network operations and treatment is adding connectivity to many assets.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) allows various assets (that would not justify full monitoring via traditional control system) across the network to be accessed and connected securely, anytime and anywhere. Data gathered from these assets can help water suppliers increase efficiency, use less water and avoid leakages and breaks. In addition, suppliers can supply and treat the ever-increasing amounts of water needed to match population growth. As data collected is from assets that are closer to customers, it can be used to vastly improve customer service levels.
New Smart Water technologies are now available to deliver greater process insights, allowing operators to understand their systems better and make more informed decisions. IIoT technologies promote:
- Empowered operators—Getting the right information to the operator, on the field or at a control center, in a way they can easily interact with and make better decisions.
- Proactive maintenance teams—Optimizing the management of different types of assets in the water infrastructure, for example individual pieces of equipment such as pumps, blowers and conveyor belts. Leveraging sensors and analytics to give the ability for true predictive or condition-based maintenance. Leveraging key data from plants or networks and transforming them into actionable insights through digital services.
- Agile management—Combining OT with IT to make smarter business decisions. This involves business optimization; improvements in productivity, key processes performance, regulation compliance and customer service; and a reduction of investment needs.
The importance of cybersecurity
In Smart Water systems, digital solutions promise greater business value. However, greater connectivity can increase vulnerabilities if not managed well.
Cybersecurity is a critical issue in the age of IIoT. When adopting connected technologies and building a smart system, managers need to take cybersecurity into account. They need to choose products with embedded cybersecurity and then work with their vendors in installing solutions to enhance overall cybersecurity of their operation.
To find out more about EcoStruxure for Water, Smart Water technology and enhancing key processes and applications across the water cycle, call your Schneider Electric Sales Representative today.