Analytical software in managing industrial water and wastewater assets

Collecting sufficient process data for operational decision-making in the not-too-distant past was challenging, but the landscape is different today. With the prevalence of smart instrumentation and IIoT-enabled devices IIoT-based software solutions, such as Netilion, most facilities now find themselves overwhelmed with potential sources of data, and plant personnel can struggle to make sense of this information overload. 

Process data can be useful, but only when interpreted to create actionable insights. To generate these insights, companies are increasingly turning to analytical software which collects and evaluates plant instrument data in the cloud. 

This cloud-based analytical software solution provides plant personnel with equipment efficiency and instrument health information so they can make better operational decisions and properly prioritize maintenance. Additionally, these solutions help organizations automate tasks that were previously manual and inefficient, providing productivity gains and continuous reporting in real time. 

One such analytical software is with Endress+ Hauser instrumentation where an  online diagnostic data is generated using Heartbeat Technology. In addition to measuring multiple process variables, Heartbeat Technology can detect conditions like failing sensors, corrosion, coating build-up, excess foam, inhomogeneous mediums, suspended bubbles and other parameters undetectable by basic instruments. 

Additionally, Heartbeat Technology-enabled instrumentation can conduct automatic and in-situ device verification, saving records in local instrument storage without the need for any external software or process interruption. Verification not only confirms whether device components comply with original reference values, but it can also detect the presence of systematic faults, which negatively impact the device and processes over time if left unmitigated. 

This verification is traceable, and the results can be documented in compliance with relevant standards and norms, like NAMUR NE 107.  

To transmit this information to an asset management or control system, users can leverage digital instrument protocols, including HART, WirelessHART, Bluetooth, IO-Link and EtherNet/IP. Along with diagnostic data, process information — such as water quantities, limit values, levels, temperature, pressure and physicochemical quality parameters — is also transmitted. 

Once this information is ingested by the host system, Netilion analyzes the data and, in turn, provides optimization suggestions, and generates alerts when anomalies or issues arise. This helps facilities increase the ratio of proactive to reactive maintenance, reducing unplanned downtime, along with equipment and human safety hazards. 

For example, instead of waiting to send a notification after a high-pH event occurs, Netilion can leverage past process data to generate an alert when conditions are detected that historically led to this type of issue. This provides plant personnel with additional time to respond, and potentially prevents the incident from occurring. 

Netilion makes process and instrument health information available to plant staff in configurable dashboards, so you can understand operational states at a glance, and adjust accordingly. 

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IIoT-based software solutions, such as Netilion, provide significant benefits for industrial water and wastewater stakeholders by providing reliable monitoring of water quality, flow, pressure, temperature, level and other parameters — along with instrument diagnostic data. When combined with intelligent diagnostic capabilities, like Heartbeat Technology, cloud-based software can connect all aspects of a water system, providing users with easy access to data and insights from a single source. 

These capabilities enable better tracking of field devices, and more reliable data transfer, recording and archiving. IIoT technology is empowering users to reduce process upsets and downtime, proactively maintain equipment and instrumentation and operate more efficiently. With the heightened importance of clean water in today’s world, these technological advancements are necessary to ensure sustainability far into the future.