05/27/2020

Digitalization: Strengthened operational resilience for water-reliant businesses

Thomas Debruyne, Asia Pacific Digital Manager.

Water is an essential element not just for sustaining life, but also for operating many businesses within industries such as food and beverage, pulp and paper, and oil and gas. For these water-reliant businesses, robust water treatment solutions must be operated and maintained to the highest standard possible in order to continually and safely run production.

Due to the complexity of process water and wastewater treatment operations, many water-reliant manufacturers typically engage water technology specialists for support. This way, they are better able to focus on their core business. But when disruptions take place, these companies may find themselves grappling to address water treatment systems issues without the resources or expertise required for troubleshooting onsite. In some cases, production can be impacted — with operations sometimes reduced or even halted altogether — and can ultimately lead to significant financial losses.

These same unplanned disruptions could also impact production indirectly through disruptions in supply chains. Delays in the delivery of crucial parts for water and wastewater treatment plants can be detrimental — impeding manufacturing processes.

Compared to the risk mitigation measures taken for production lines, risk measures surrounding water management are often downplayed. For instance, water management is generally regarded as just a utility, despite it being less resilient to disruptions. Yet, when water treatment processes stop, production lines are disrupted.

In light of the magnitude of implications that come with disruptions to water services, businesses need to reexamine the way they manage water and wastewater treatment plants. During a crisis, solutions that offer remote support via digital tools become even more relevant, as they grant businesses access to skilled remote support even amidst possible restrictions on movement. With the emergence of digital platforms, business owners can approach business continuity in a new way that allows them to maintain seamless access to core system performance data that helps with informed decision-making and timely remote interventions.

Veolia offers a cloud-based AQUAVISTA™ digital platform to support water-reliant manufacturers. Comprising four modular bricks — Portal, Plant, Insight, and Assist — the AQUAVISTA platform remotely enriches the users’ aggregated data through a combination of algorithmic applications and human process expertise. With this solution, customers can achieve operational efficiency and quality compliance, and process water or wastewater treatment plants can be monitored and optimised round the clock, even if staff cannot or should not access a site.

Furthermore, if any issues occur within the plant, Veolia’s service engineers can readily access the required data online and guide plant operators through the necessary troubleshooting steps. The system also allows engineers to rectify some problems remotely when required, further reducing the need for multiple onsite visits. In addition, through the incorporation of a new Augmented Reality solution, Veolia’s AQUAVISTA platform will soon offer a library of step-by-step instructions to guide customers in resolving a wide range of issues. Customers can also collaborate with Veolia’s engineers in real-time to conduct virtual visits for inspections or visual verification of equipment and network layouts.

 A digital solution like AQUAVISTA can reduce the problem of industrial machine downtime, offer round-the-clock availability that helps businesses keep their utilities running smoothly, and improve overall operational resilience for these businesses.

Find out more about Veolia’s AQUAVISTA™ solutions, or get in touch a member of our team here.

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