An automation software update aims to help water and wastewater plant facilities manage their operations, cut energy costs and improve efficiency.
The update of the Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Automation Expert is specifically geared toward water treatment facilities and the automation will help safeguard fresh water and supports water and wastewater treatment facilities’ sustainability efforts, the company says. Schneider Electric says in the US alone, wastewater treatment plants use about $2 billion in electric costs annually and that a digital transformation of operations can cut energy consumption and waste.
The version 21.2 update of the platform will offer complete lifecycle management, integration of information and operational technology services and improved diagnostics for automation systems.
The technology also can be integrated with other software products, which can extend an operation’s capabilities or allow modification in the future. The company says the technology will give plant operators more control of their systems and it can reduce operating costs and simplify maintenance.
Automation could be a key component to improving water infrastructure. A recent report by Banyan Water says advances in data collection, automation and machine learning could help eliminate millions of gallons of water waste and offer cost-cutting measures for operators. That report also highlighted that the American Society of Civil Engineers gives the US’s water infrastructure a grade of D, indicating the need for improvements in the industry.
With technology playing a bigger role in treatment facility operations and water and wastewater plant systems lasting up to 35 years, Schneider Electric says automation software can help the industry and plants evolve and adjust over time.
By connecting to engineering software, the company says new designs to the operations or changes to the existing ones can be virtually validated prior to implementation, which can reduce errors and save money. The company also says the product offers a complete integration of IT and OT services that boosts security and the life of the system.
Automation is becoming a widespread use of efficiency across industries. Buildings are using it to save energy costs and entire cities such as Las Vegas are implementing ideas like digital twins to help cut carbon emissions. Artificial intelligence also has been shown to reduce energy costs.
The EcoStruxure platform also has been used with the packaged goods and logistics industries.