Posts Tagged ‘Water’

ABB wins new framework with Thames Water

December 7, 2015

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ABB Measurement & Analytics in the UK has won a new multi-million pound framework agreement with Thames Water to supply its biggest ever offering of instrumentation equipment.

The framework will see ABB offering an expanded range of products to its previous supply of pressure instrumentation and electromagnetic flowmeters, with the addition of clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters and borehole level transmitters sourced through its established partnerships with Katronic and Impress Sensors.

As well as the equipment from Katronic and Impress, ABB will also be supplying thermal mass and swirl flowmeters for use in applications including gas and biogas lines at Thames Water’s sewage treatment and thermal hydrolysis plants (THP) process digesters.

ABB has been a supplier to Thames Water for over 20 years, supplying battery and mains electromagnetic and coriolis flowmeters and gauge, absolute and differential pressure transmitters for use across the company’s distribution network and treatment works. The decision to keep us on board for these products and to award us the extended framework demonstrates Thames Water’s confidence in our ability to offer first class levels of service and product performance.

As the largest water and wastewater service provider in England, with over 13 million customers in London and the surrounding counties, Thames Water has set itself key targets in line with the outcomes focused approach set by Ofwat for AMP6. These include ensuring the continued performance of its water distribution network, minimising interruptions to supply caused by factors such as pressure problems and leakage, and ensuring the continued quality of the potable water supply.

By providing accurate data on conditions from around Thames Water’s distribution network, ABB’s equipment will play a key role in meeting these targets.

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ABB continues its fight against water leakage by hosting key industry workshop

July 21, 2015

ABB UK’s Daresbury HQ was the venue for a dedicated workshop held by the Sensors for Water Industry Group (SWIG) looking at the latest technologies and techniques for tackling the ongoing problem of water leakage.

Despite the considerable work that has been undertaken in recent years to tackle the issue of leakage from the UK’s water distribution networks, substantial volumes of water are continuing to be lost every day. Although many water companies have hit their original leakage targets, a significant number are keen to find ways to achieve further reductions, prompted in part by the new focus on TOTEX.

Shifting the emphasis from ‘outputs’ to ‘outcomes’, TOTEX effectively rewards companies that take steps to increase customer satisfaction by improving their performance.

In the case of leakage, there is a desire to meet customer demands for reduce leakage as well as to minimise the need to abstract extra water by taking steps to better manage existing supplies.

The workshop represented a broad range of interests, with speakers from Yorkshire Water, Artesia Consulting, the WRc and Sheffield University. The supply chain was also represented, with various speakers from different companies, including ourselves, outlining our latest technologies for detecting and managing water leakage.

In his presentation entitled ‘Leakage asset management for the 21st century’, Alan Hunt, Electromagnetic Flow Product Specialist for ABB Measurement & Analytics, described the benefits of ABB’s new AquaMaster 3 with WITS (Water Industry Telemetry Standard) DNP 3.

The flowmeter is the first to use open platform communications, enabling operators to obtain near real-time flowrate and pressure data with advanced device-level intelligence without the obstacles associated with integration into their existing control systems. The inclusion of quad band GPRS radio technology also ensures reliable, low cost connectivity in virtually all remote locations.

By helping to disseminate information about the latest best practices and technologies for water leakage, the workshop forms a key part of ABB’s strategy to help our water industry customers find ways to manage their operations more effectively.

SWIG events provide the opportunity for water industry end users, consultants and supply chain providers like ourselves to share knowledge and experiences and to build strong partnerships to help our UK & Ireland Water Utilities achieve their business outcomes.

Originally formed in 1993, SWIG (www.swig.org.uk) aims to provide a forum for manufacturers, end users and researchers in the sensor community to test new ideas, exchange views and network.

As such, it promotes the dissemination of information on sensor developments and fosters collaboration through targeted workshops, as well as representing the interests of the water and wastewater quality sensor community to the Government, European organisations and other interested bodies.

Copies of the various presentations from the event, including Alan Hunt’s, can be downloaded at SWIG’s web site at http://www.swig.org.uk/event/leakage-workshop/.

For more information about the AquaMaster 3 with WITS DNP 3, visit tinyurl.com/ABBAquaMaster, call 0870 600 6122 or email moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com ref. ‘AquaMaster 3’.

Who says there’s no innovation in water?

May 20, 2015

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Whole Government reports have been devoted to the subject of innovation in the UK water industry. The general gist is that, despite all of the money and effort that has gone into upgrading the UK’s water infrastructure since the industry was privatised 25 years ago, much more needs to be done to encourage the uptake of new technologies that could help to improve overall operational efficiency.

This situation looks to change with the introduction of TOTEX (TOTal EXpenditure). With its focus on total life expenditure and holistic network performance, TOTEX looks set to provide a fertile environment for innovation, as companies evolve to develop their understanding of their existing asset base. In particular, TOTEX replaces the previous CAPEX/OPEX focus on ‘outputs’ with an ‘outcome’-led approach, which places a much greater emphasis on achieving and demonstrating asset and network effectiveness.

Whilst embracing innovation may well have been lacking amongst water operators, the supply chain at least appears to be ahead of the game. This was particularly apparent at the recent IWEX exhibition at the Birmingham NEC, where suppliers of technology, expertise and water-related services presented their latest offerings.

Taking ABB’s exhibition stand as a starting point, visitors were shown the latest examples of the latest instruments, analysers, drives and motors for potable and wastewater applications. Several of these represent cutting edge developments. Our AquaMaster 3 flowmeter for example, is the first in the world to combine integrated flow and pressure measurement in a single device. It is also the first to feature WITS DNP3 technology, which allows operators to gain, via GPRS communications, unprecedented access to a range of performance data, including diagnostic data on the status of the meter itself.

We also had the first in our range of digital optical sensors, which use the latest advances in optical measurement technology to deliver stable and accurate measurement whilst maintaining calibration without drift.

Both of these instruments are good examples of the type of equipment that can be used to deliver the big data from a network that can be turned into information and used as the basis for operational decision-making in a TOTEX environment.

Energy and maintenance form another crucial part of the TOTEX equation, with savings in either area making an obvious contribution to reducing overall lifetime costs. Again, ABB’s stand provided examples of some of the latest thinking in this area, including our SynRM (synchronous reluctance motor) and drive package for the water industry. Offering good partial load efficiency performance for all pumping applications, the package combines the benefits of a premium motor control with the highest levels of motor performance, giving ultimate efficiency and reliability to optimise pump system cost of ownership.

ABB’s stand was just one of dozens representing the latest developments in technology, spanning all aspects of the potable and wastewater treatment cycles.

In short, the innovation to help water companies transform their network performance is definitely out there. The challenge now is to move beyond a short term cost focus, which has too often led to the selection of the cheapest cost rather than the best value solutions, and work with suppliers to see what they can really offer.

If you’d like to find out more about how measurement instrumentation can be used to help you meet your TOTEX targets, why not request a copy of our new white paper ‘The role of performance data in optimising assets under TOTEX’. For a copy, email: moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com or call 0870 600 6122 ref. ‘TOTEX’.

ABB takes lead role in helping to address global water wastage

April 1, 2015

Since its inception, the Global Water Leakage Summit has grown to become a leading event on the international water calendar and a great place to discuss and exchange the latest thinking on leakage and water management technologies and techniques. And with our extensive background in water applications, we are proud to have taken the lead role at last month’s Global Water Leakage Summit, which was held in London (17th and 18th March).

Attended by key influencers and decision – makers in water from around the world, this year’s event included a key focus on the role of smart technology in achieving zero leakage which is now being seen as an increasingly realistic prospect, as advances in technology offer new possibilities for measuring, controlling and conveying water.

The two-day event covered a broad range of topics, with speakers representing a broad spectrum of interests, including the UK All-Parliamentary Water Group, UK, Irish and international water utilities, plus manufacturers and industry bodies such as Ofwat and the Water Industry Commission for Scotland.

Our own Tim Door, UK and Ireland General Manager, chaired the sessions on the second day of the event. Presentations were given by speakers from countries including the UK, Spain, Israel, Portugal and India on the innovative approaches and technologies being applied to tackle leakage and encourage responsible water management.

Amongst the presenters was ABB’s Dr Ray Keech, who discussed the AquaMaster 3 electromagnetic flowmeter with WITS (Water Industry Telemetry Standard) technology. The device combines the benefits of a high accuracy integrated flow and pressure metering solution with high speed data communications, giving users access to near real time data on pipeline conditions. With extensive self-diagnostic capabilities, the AquaMaster 3 with WITS also provides operators with improved information on meter performance, enabling them to reduce maintenance to an on demand basis.

We also led the Gala Dinner at the end of the first day of the event, which has become an established tradition and a great opportunity for networking. As always, the dinner included a charity auction on behalf of WaterAid. Led by Tim Door and Jeremy Heath of Sutton and East Surrey Water, the auction surpassed the previous event’s record, raising a remarkable £2,430, with prizes auctioned off including a Golf Day experience with a Pro AM, an Iphone 6 and £250 red letter day.

ABB to showcase latest technologies for water at IWEX 2015

March 18, 2015

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We are delighted to announce that we will be exhibiting at IWEX at the NEC in Birmingham on 21st – 23rd April 2015. On stand (G26), we’ll be demonstrating how our products can help water companies to take a holistic approach to optimizing their network efficiency. Therefore we’ll be showcasing how we can help to boost efficiency across all areas, from reduced energy consumption through to enhanced data collection.

A fully automated interactive panel will show how our latest equipment can be integrated to provide customers with complete solutions for monitoring and controlling water supplies. The panel will feature a selection of instruments, variable speed drives, electric motors and control equipment.

The stand will also feature examples of our latest technologies for water and wastewater processes.

Products on display will include the AquaMaster 3 with WITS (Water Industry Telemetry Standard) DNP3 based open protocol. Based on tried and tested network technology, WITS DNP3 enables communication between different types of data acquisition and control equipment.

The AquaMaster 3 will be joined by Katronic’s range of KATflow ultrasonic clamp-on flowmeters. Featuring an intuitive menu, instrument setup wizard and the innovative Audible Sensor Positioning Assistant, the KATflow range makes the use of clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters easier than ever before.

Also on display is the latest range of WIMES compliant low voltage electric motors. The motors were designed specifically to meet the UK’s Water Industry Mechanical and Electrical Specification. (WIMES 3.03 issue 6), created by The Pump Centre in conjuction with end users, consultants, contractors and manufactuturers, including ABB.

Alongside it is ABB’S SynRM (Synchronous Reluctance Motor) and drive package for the water industry. The package offers the benefits of a premium motor control alongside the highest levels of motor performance, giving ultimate efficiency and reliability to optimise pump system cost of ownership.

For more information, email moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com or call 0870 600 6122 ref. ‘IWEX 2015’. Alternatively, please visit ABB’s water industry portal at www.abb.co.uk/water.

ABB appoints new channel partner to expand offering into the Irish process market

January 14, 2015

We are delighted to announce that ABB UK Measurement and Analytics is partnering with Hanley Measurement and Control to offer our expanding portfolio of products into the Irish process market.

Underlining our commitment to increasing our presence in the Irish process market, the partnership will see the company act as the official sales agent for our growing range of measurement and control products for improving process performance and efficiency for applications in the pharmaceutical, chemical, food and beverage and other related industries.

Utilising a well-known and respected partner such as Hanley will allow our customers in Ireland to get full access to support and service going forward into 2015 and beyond.

Products available through Hanley will include ABB’s full range of process flowmeters, devices and systems for the measurement of temperature and pressure, plus liquid, gas and air emissions, as well as valve actuators, positioners, recorders and controllers.

The appointment of Hanley Measurement and Controls further expands our network of Instrumentation Alliance Partners in the UK and Ireland, which includes specialist suppliers of instrumentation products, services and expertise serving the water, power, process and oil and gas markets.

For more information about ABB’s Instrumentation Alliance Partners, email moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com or call 0870 600 6122.

Why it totally pays to pick electromagnetic

December 16, 2014

The arrival of AMP6 signals a change in many areas for both water companies and the supply chain.

As well as the potential end of the AMP cycle’s ‘boom and bust’ behaviour, another major change is underway, with Ofwat encouraging companies to move away from capital expenditure on new plant and infrastructure and instead focus on total life costs and getting more out of their existing assets.

Called TOTEX, this shift in emphasis will see a move towards companies focusing more on joined-up investment and on improving the performance of installed infrastructure rather than building new plant.

The approach includes a particular focus on the role of data in helping companies to maintain their networks more effectively and identify potential problems before they occur.

Of course, data is only as good as the device used to gather it. If the accuracy of the device itself is lacking, then the resulting data will be of questionable value when it comes to setting strategies to improve performance.
When it comes to the devices for measuring and monitoring flow around water distribution networks, various flowmetering options have traditionally been available to water companies, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Orifice plates may present an inexpensive solution, but their accuracy relies on the opening having been machined to the right size. Although they may offer reasonable accuracy at first, wearing of the orifice edges caused by particles within the flow can steadily erode measurement performance. This technology works by creating a pressure drop across the plate of which a minimum of 40% is non-recoverable. These losses inevitably lead to increased pumping costs.

Frequently specified where purchase cost is an issue, mechanical meters can quickly prove to be false economy. Wear and tear on their moving parts can reduce accuracy within weeks of installation, resulting in over or under registration of flows.

A higher costing option, the ultrasonic flowmeter, uses ultrasonic beams to assess the velocity of the fluid, which can then be used to derive a flow measurement. Although they offer the benefits of a clamp-on device, these meters can be severely affected by changes in speed, and are difficult to set up, especially where high accuracy is required.

In comparison, electromagnetic flowmeters offer a number of advantages that can quickly add up to savings that outweigh their higher initial purchase price. Firstly, there are no moving parts which need routine maintenance. Their buriable design also means the overall cost of the system is reduced as there is no need to build chambers or install ancillary equipment such as isolating valves.

Then there’s the matter of accuracy. Electromagnetic flowmeters offer typical accuracies of ±0.5% of rate throughout their operational life, as well as superb reliability from being unaffected by the wear and tear that can affect other meter types.

Recent technological developments extend their benefits even further. ABB’s AquaMaster 3, for example, includes GSM-SMS radio technology, enabling up-to-date information to be remotely collected from anywhere around the world and eliminating the costs associated with manual collection. Their ability to draw energy from either solar or wind also opens up a raft of new installation location possibilities.

When each method for leakage prevention is compared to the other, it soon becomes clear that the electromagnetic flowmeter is the best choice.

Not only that, but as listed technologies within the Government’s Water Technology List, ABB’s WaterMaster and AquaMaster flowmeters are eligible for Enhanced Capital Allowances which allow for offset of 100% of cost against corporation tax, not just on the cost of the purchase but also any costs relating to installation.

Taken together, these factors present a compelling case for using electromagnetic meters in a TOTEX-focused strategy.

For more about why it pays to pick electromagnetic flowmeters, email moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com or call 0870 600 6122 ref ‘Water Technology List’.

ABB achieves MCERTS for pH measurement

March 14, 2014

We are delighted to have achieved MCERTS certification for our AX400 pH measurement system, which forms part of our commitment to providing users with the best available techniques for their environmental monitoring requirements.

Tested in a field trial conducted over a period of 9 months on an effluent discharge at Pembroke Power Station, the AX400, coupled with our 7650, 7651, 7660 pH sensors, successfully demonstrated its suitability for use in treated wastewater, untreated wastewater and receiving water applications.

The achievement of MCERTS certification means that our AX400 pH measurement systems can be used in applications such as the power industry and potable water treatment.

The measurement of pH and Redox (ORP) in high purity water applications in power plants requires a number of essential elements to achieve accurate and stable readings. These include a stainless steel flowcell to minimize static effects and a reservoir-fed reference junction that overcomes KCI depletion and blockage to ensure a stable junction potential and simple reference junction replacement for low-cost maintenance.

The 7660 system has been proven to meet all these requirements by providing accurate measurement in samples below 20 μS/cm. This is especially ideal in boiler chemistry control applications, which require close control of pH levels. For applications up to 100 μS/cm the 7651 with polypropylene flowcell and the 7653 with a reservoir-fed reference electrode option provide an economical option.

For potable water treatment applications, accurate and stable pH measurement is required for optimum control at the coagulation stage of the process to minimize coagulation costs and treated water quality.

Measuring pH in coagulation processes can be particularly difficult, due to the high level of suspended solids and significant precipitation that can block the reference junction.

To overcome this problem, an ideal pH system should include an optional flowing reference junction that overcomes KCI depletion and blockage. Other features should also include simple reference junction replacement to enable low-cost maintenance in samples that contain high levels of particulates, and the availability of a low resistance glass electrode option to provide fast response in low temperature applications.

The 7600 Series meets all these requirements. The 7651, with polypropylene flowcell and the 7653, with a reservoir-fed reference electrode are an ideal low-cost option that can be readily replaced and installed. Both systems are highly-suited throughout the potable water treatment process.

For more information, email moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com or call 0870 600 6122 ref. ‘MCERTS pH’.

A welcome change of direction for AMP 6?

November 22, 2013

Tony Hoyle, General Manager for ABB’s UK Measurement Products business, explains how the AMP process could finally be undergoing a much needed change of direction.

After years of acting contrary to the interests of many of the parties within it, it would seem that the AMP process is finally starting to undergo some welcome changes. Especially encouraging is Ofwat’s focus on ‘long term outcomes’ and its aim to give water companies greater flexibility in how they deliver them.

The prospect of a focus on the long term offers encouragement for those keen to see a smoother AMP process. In particular, a focus on the longer term would certainly help to avoid the detrimental impact caused by the ramping up and ramping down of activities during the transition between previous periods.

Partnerships and early starts

A quick scan of the marketplace offers encouraging signs of a changed approach to the new AMP period. Several of the UK’s largest water utilities are already well underway in selecting partners for their AMP 6 projects so that they can get work underway as soon as Ofwat releases funding.

The establishment of long-term partnerships could well present a workable and effective template for future AMP periods. As well as allowing the fulfilment of the immediate objectives of an AMP period, they could also provide the much-needed framework for continuity that has been badly lacking in previous years. By enabling partner companies to count on their continued association with a water company outside of the five year period, the creation of long-term partnerships could yield a wide variety of benefits that have not been fully realisable within the previous AMP structure.

Breeding innovation

In the same period that Apple has created and refined its market-leading iPhone and iPad products, there has been relatively little if any real change in the technologies used by water companies to treat, distribute and collect potable and wastewater.

The AMP process has done little to encourage technological innovation. Faced with an uncertain environment caused by the five year structure of an AMP period, companies have had little incentive to risk investing time, money and resources into new products and services.

It is to be hoped that the prospect of a more long-term approach will help pave the way for greater innovation. For suppliers especially, the prospect of working with water companies on projects across the AMP periods provides a much more attractive environment in which to provide and develop new products and services.

Summary

All of the indications are that AMP6 could well be the first all-round win scenario in the scheme’s history, delivering benefits for water companies, suppliers and customers. Whereas in the past water companies were reliant on Ofwat to set their investment priorities, the greater freedom being afforded within AMP 6 means that they can now focus more on their existing infrastructure, leading to potential improvements in performance that could increase effectiveness and, ultimately, profitability.

Innovative water management strategies call for technologies to match

April 15, 2013

A quick look at the edie.net web site reveals an array of new initiatives and strategies from a diverse range of organisations aimed at safeguarding both the quantity and quality of water.

One thing that is clear is that there is a growing understanding of the urgent need to tackle water supply issues today before they escalate out of hand tomorrow.
Leading the way is the European Commission’s water efficiency blueprint, which calls for member states, including the UK, to step up their efforts in key areas such as pollution control and abstraction and to strike a better balance between supply and demand.

These same sentiments are repeated at an industry level, with the food and beverage industry in particular striving for improved water efficiency performance. As a major consumer of water, food and beverage companies are increasingly signing up to schemes to measure and reduce their usage. The Federation House Commitment (FHC), for example, aims to help reduce overall water usage across the Food and Drink sector by 20% by the year 2020. Sainsbury’s, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Sunlight and Branston have also all recently been awarded the Carbon Trust’s Water Standard, the world’s first international award aimed at getting businesses to measure, manage and reduce their water usage.

The Carbon Trust’s scheme also addresses the link between water wastage and energy, both in terms of consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Every drop lost, whether it be on an industrial site or across a water distribution network, needs to be replaced, consuming extra energy for treatment and pumping.

For this innovative thinking to have maximum impact, there needs to be an equal stride forward in technological innovation.

Where water is concerned, measurement is no longer just the responsibility of the major water operators, but any major user of water too. Whether it’s to trace leakage on site, reduce water consumption or ensure compliance with emissions legislation such as the Environmental Permitting Regulations, end users should make sure they are using the Best Available Techniques for the job.

Equipment manufacturers, ABB included, are facing a growing responsibility to not only provide technology, but also to inform the market about why it is needed. By keeping an eye both on current developments and on likely future changes, manufacturers can play a valuable role in providing the technologies needed to meet both today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.

To find out more, visit our AMPPlus portal (www.edie.net/abb).