How the water industry can benefit from digitalization

For most water utilities, digitalization is still all a bit up in the air. Yet, under the growing pressure of rising requirements and changing conditions, this sector is also experiencing movement. Find out how the water industry can benefit from digitalization here.

Water facility

Challenges

Like many other industries, the water sector is facing changing and growing challenges. In many countries the number of competitors is increasing, new laws are changing the rules of the game and stricter environmental regulations are making the already demanding sector an even greater challenge. At the same time, the water industry is affected by the effects of climate change and must, like few other sectors, prepare itself for a future that is difficult to plan for. In the course of digitalization, the issue of cyber security is also becoming increasingly important for this indispensable industry. Added to this are the demands that are growing in most industries: stakeholders want steady profit growth, rising returns on sales, good capital value development and solid resilience.

The industry needs good data

With this mixed bag of growing challenges, it is becoming increasingly difficult and complex for water companies to make informed decisions. To ensure that they continue to make sense in the future, companies not only need more and better data, but also the ability to analyse it efficiently. This includes the analysis of both internal and external data to ensure that the basis for decision-making is as solid as possible. For this reason, companies are currently beginning to see data as a digital asset, which, if available in the right form, can be of enormous value to the company. Particularly against the background of growing data volumes due to new technologies such as smart meters, the collection and analysis of data thus becomes increasingly important.

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Data-driven working right from the start

For a data-driven working method right from the start, a special focus on data should start right in the planning phase. This concerns not only the consideration of where and how data must be collected and processed, but also the planning itself. This can be easily achieved with holistic and cooperative engineering software such as Engineering Base (EB) from Aucotec. With the help of the planning software, data can be stored and processed centrally right from the start. The extraordinarily cooperative nature of the software simplifies work processes by preventing duplicate entries, simplifying corrections and ensuring that all data is up-to-date. To ensure that EB can really be used holistically as central planning software, the software also supports the connection of other tools such as 3D software, process simulations or the customer’s own ERP (enterprise resource planning) tool.

Improve workflow with automation

With its data-centric and interdisciplinary approach, EB makes it possible to simplify the workflow both during planning and operation. The magic word here is “automation”. EB thus makes it possible to automate repetitive planning activities and data is exchanged and updated without further action. Since EB stores all data centrally in the form of a digital twin, it also makes simple, fast and error-free documentation possible.

Much potential there

Once a digital twin has been created, the doors open to a range of other possibilities that digitalization offers to the water industry. Thus, predictive maintenance can be applied in conjunction with extensive data collection and evaluation. This enables water companies to use components without risk for as long as possible. On the one hand, this saves maintenance costs, as parts do not need to be replaced more often that necessary. On the other hand, it increases the reliability of the technical plants, as unexpected breakdowns can be reduced to a minimum. This is particularly important for a vitally important industry such as the water sector.

About the authors

Our editorial team consists of Aucotec employees supported by the technical copywriters of our press agency. Together we keep you updated on the latest trends in the industry and show how Aucotec can facilitate your engineering.

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