Know your flow / Optimal operation with analysis and implementation of remote data

Access data remotely via the cloud for best operational results

Real-time access to critical information from numerous unit operations in a water pumping system is vital to improving productivity. As more water-automation devices are connected to the Internet, and the cloud, significant savings in time and cost are possible. As a simple example, condition monitoring can help avoid unnecessary travel to remote pumping stations. Therefore data sent by devices like drives, motors and flowmeters over Internet speeds up analysis of potential trouble spots.

In water and wastewater utilities, surveillance of the condition of equipment such as pipes and pumps is crucial. There are many reasons for this, including guaranteeing reliable operation, reducing costs, and protecting the environment. While this monitoring is traditionally done with a combination of manual and automated methods, the rapid growth of smart devices and cloud-based Internet sharing is presenting interesting optimization opportunities for water networks.

The ability to easily collect and transmit large amounts of data means drives, motors, and flow meters are playing a greater role in condition monitoring. They are now valuable components for analyzing, maintaining, and optimizing water assets and operations to save money, increase productivity, and avoid costly unplanned shutdowns.

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Drives, with remote monitoring, become eyes on the process

The primary role of variable speed drives is to control speed on motors, and therefore pumps. But as application-specific functionality has been built into drives like the ACQ580, they now offer valuable and unique new insight into the overall health of the process and the equipment. With the help of ABB’s remote monitoring, NETA-21, the operator can get deep insight into numerous variables.

Via the built-in web server or through the connected ABB Ability™ cloud, data can be accessed anywhere on standard web browsers, allowing the user to configure the drive, monitor log data, and follow load levels, run time, energy use, bearing temperatures and I/O. Data can be kept local, as the device can store drive's data for a long time, or passed to the cloud for deeper analysis.

So from anywhere in the world, it’s as if you’re sitting right next to the motors and pumps. Unmanned monitoring is supported by built-in alarm functions that notify maintenance in case of trouble. And the alarm history includes true timestamps that are stored internally, in case the drive itself does not have a real time clock. Remote monitoring is also possible through ABB’s AC500 PLC using the Drive Manager software tool.

Motors are becoming smart devices, too

With ABB's new Ability TM Smart Sensor solution for motors, which is simply attached to the frame of low-voltage induction motors, critical condition monitoring data can be sent via the Internet. The smart sensor picks up data on vibrations, temperatures, and other parameters. In some cases we’ve seen motor downtime reduced by up to 70%, lifetimes extended by 30%, and energy use cut by 10%. Via built-in algorithms based on decades of motor experience the sensor relays information about the motors health, be a smart phone or Internet. Motors, quite simply, are becoming smarter.

Flowmeters are all about flow

Smooth flow is what you’re trying to achieve in almost any water or wastewater treatment operation. To accurately and precisely measure your flows, the AquaMaster electromagnetic flowmeter is perfectly designed. It is accurate both at the highest peak load levels, as well as when flow nearly dries up due to off-peak demand. It is a great solution to meeting increasing legislative demands for highly accurate flow measurements. In addition, as it is externally mounted it is very cost-effective to both install and maintain.

ABB zenon - combining data in one common access point

The new ABB zenon IoT software is an open-design, object-oriented automation application to extend communications, connectivity and control possibilities on water systems. It easily and efficiently can integrate automation devices like drives, motors, PLCs and Human-Machine-Interface panels. This means wide sources of data and information can be combined using a common interface giving water utility operators and water utility suppliers new overarching insight – to raise productivity, save energy, increase availability, and generally optimize water systems.

Access via PLC
PLCs, as well, can become important information gateways, for a large number of pumps. The AC500 PLC series has purpose-built water functionality that can control a group of pumps to intelligently adjust automatically, based on process operating conditions such as breakdowns or increased demand.

Cyber security, too, is an issue which must be considered. All our products comply with the high security standards of ABB and should only be used as intended, helping to give water operators the security and peace of mind they seek.

Interconnectivity. Big data. Internet of Things.

Essentially, all these concepts come down to one aim: Greater ability to optimize via faster communication with more equipment, devices, and people. As these concepts become reality, the water and wastewater processes which are essential to human existence now have exciting new potential to improve productivity using remote data access methods. So the companies which take the lead in applying them to squeeze out running costs and increase productive uptime, will have clear competitive advantages. And, one must assume, a bright future.

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