AVEVA’s Unified Operations Centre for Water/Wastewater By Mazhar Hussain, Business Unit Manager, SolutionsPT

The water/wastewater sector sees its fair share of unique challenges, from increased population and rabid urbanisation to climate change and weather events. How companies respond to these challenges will set them apart from competitors while meeting the changing needs of customers and reducing the negative impact on the environment.

There is often a wide geographic spread of high-cost assets and high-value people within water/wastewater and this can cause information silos. This occurs when you have two (or more) different system running side by side but relating to the same overall process or asset. Each system is producing data relating to a specific asset, with nothing in place to contextualise this information there is no way for enterprises to make meaningful improvements to operations. Couple this with the physical distance between onsite operators and those in the control room and expert insight isn’t being put to good use.

For water companies looking to future-proof operations in answer to these challenges, it can be scary thought. Ripping and replacing entire systems and purchasing new assets is a costly experience and is not always necessary. Water/wastewater companies can reach new levels of efficiency, reduce unplanned downtime and empower the high-value human workforce through digital transformation without huge CAPEX, and the first step to achieving this can be as simple as talking to right digital transformation partners.

Operational visibility leading to optimisation
Fundamental to meeting the challenges of modern water companies is greater operational visibility – such as that which can be provided by a Unified Operations Centre (UOC). The UOC doesn’t just enable visibility of assets but full enterprise overview of equipment and people in real-time.

Managers need an understanding of performance, not just at site level but down to the asset level. An end-to-end operational visibility approach whether it is for a single facility or multiple sites helps bridge gaps between IT and OT and creates the digital transformation pathway to efficient operations.

For business owners that want to make the most of what they have it’s all about optimising. Optimisation of current assets and most importantly optimisation of the human workforce. To do this requires more than just data, it requires the data to be recorded, stored, analysed, contextualised and, perhaps most importantly, be presented in a way that offers value to operators and empowers them to make better, more informed operational and maintenance decisions.

Unified Operations Centre (UOC)
AVEVA is known the world over for the best-in-class industrial software options and the UOC is no exception.

With UOC, connecting people, assets and data from the dispersed sources within water/wastewater becomes a simple process. In real-time, whether that is on-premises or in the control room, operators can see an overview of the enterprise-wide operations. Ensuring they are only presented with the information they need, options are available to continue drilling down for more detail on an asset by asset basis. Working to contextualise water operations, the UOC offers a centralised view to make sure every member of staff is working from a single version of truth. The data source could be IT focused or OT led but it feeds into the same resource to provide a 360-degree control environment.

All of this information culminates in a water/wastewater operation that minimises risk to the assets and overall uptime. No longer will a surprise event of unplanned downtime send operators running to perform a quick fix, should an event like this be about to happen everyone would be alerted to it before it happened. They would also have the insight needed to ensure a failure event doesn’t happen in the future.

For water/wastewater companies looking to optimise their operations without a complete rip-and-replace overhaul of OT, the UOC from AVEVA is the one-stop-shop. Making sense of an ever-growing abundance of data, the platform paints a picture of optimisation. Optimised assets running as efficiently as possible whilst simultaneously reducing energy and operational costs and an optimised human workforce, going where they are needed most with a full understanding of the situation. No longer will operators be scribbling in note pads, desperately rushing from one asset to the other fighting fires. The UOC gives companies the opportunity to improve efficiency in water/wastewater operations, reduce risk of fines, and return improved shareholder value.

For a look at the Unified Operations Centre in action, view the SolutionsPT webinar here. See the software demonstrated by the experts with real-life customer success stories and an in-depth analysis of the sector challenges that are solved with end-to-end operational visibility.