Earlier this month Michael Krome and I joined thousands of water industry professionals from around the country at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre for Ozwater’18 – the annual conference of the Australian Water Association.
With a spectacular trade exhibit and solid program of presentation from keynote speakers, academia and industry representatives, I always find something that captures the imagination and inspires new thinking at Ozwater. The range of drones on display in the trade exhibit (both aerial and sub-aquatic) is one particular example, reminding me how quickly some technologies make the leap from imagination to practical application in the real world. Michael also heard from Seqwater on their use of submarine drones, operated remotely, to conduct well and intake pipe inspections without putting anyone in harm’s way.
New applications of IoT sensors in the asset management process is always on Clarita’s watch-list at events like this, and I was very impressed with SA Water’s presentation on the development of acoustic leak detection. After using data from 300 connected sensors at various locations across the CBD to baseline the norm, SA Water can now identify leaks based on changes to the pipe sound.
The highlight for us however was undoubtedly the session presented by Ivan Beirne on how Unitywater have improved field and asset management collaboration with next generation integrated applications. The foundation of this initiative has been the Mobile Field Office project led by Clarita’s asset management team.
Ivan explained the pre-existing data issues that led to the initial development of the project, including the inability for field workers to see a history of work on the asset, no integration with the corporate system, no real-time capabilities, not being cloud-hosted and no ability to integrate tablets or smartphones. The solutions to the problems included upgrading the existing software to configure real-time access to Unitywater mapping tools, retraining affected staff, removing complex customisations and making simplifications. Clarita worked to implement the mobile technologies and overhaul the integration between asset management, finance, payroll and CRM systems that would support Unitywater’s efforts to reduce the cost to serve and improve response and restore time performance.
“These improvements have led to increased efficiencies across all aspects of the asset lifecycle from design to disposal and has provided a foundation for future efficiencies,” Beirne says. Read an overview of his Ozwater’18 presentation here: HOW MODERN TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP PROTECT ASSETS, SAVE MONEY AND IMPROVE OUTCOMES