Condition Based Monitoring
Anglian Water supplies drinking water to 4.3 million customers across the East of England and collects and treats used water from over 6 million people. Anglian Water is committed to maintaining and enhancing its operational assets’ health and performance. For that, the company invests in various projects, including in new innovative technologies to monitor its remote assets in both water and water recycling.
Anglian Water operates over 1,000 water recycling centres and over 140 water treatment works, with many critical operational assets in very remote and hard-to-reach locations. Aeration rotors are essential, highly critical assets within continuous wastewater recycling processes. Downtime of any aeration rotor instantly reduces site capacity, resulting in loss of service to customers and major environmental risks through pollution incidents.
Costs of fixing failures using reactive maintenance techniques are high. Non-continuous monitoring techniques allow for more labour-intensive and upfront maintenance costs, and increases the downtime of these critical assets. Regular continuous monitoring sensors cannot be placed on submerged assets.
Samotics uses ESA technology and sensors installed inside the motor control cabinet to monitor rotating assets, enabling the monitoring of health and energy performance of submerged assets at a distance. This enables Anglian Water to not regularly lift submerged equipment for inspections, and to switch from time-based maintenance to a proactive approach, cutting down on costs for maintenance and reducing the risk of downtime.
Samotics monitors 24/7 borehole pumps, inlet screws and aeration rotors, spread across more than 25 sites, with the AI-powered system SAM4, to detect and classify developing faults at a very early stage and inefficient operation.
SAM4’s AI-driven algorithms started flagging that one of the aeration rotors at an Anglian Water site was showing signs of mechanical unbalance and/or looseness. The system notified Anglian Water of the developing failure, but since SAM4 was able to catch it at an early stage, no immediate action was required. Two weeks later, a vibration measurement confirmed the alert sent out by SAM4. When Anglian Water inspected the assembly, they found a clear unbalance in the rotor. After replacing the motor, coupling and gearbox at a time that suited the maintenance team, the rotor went back to its normal operation.
The Anglian Water team was able to save a lot of extra costs. Because the team knew months in advance of an impending failure, maintenance could be planned at the most optimal time, preventing a lot of unplanned maintenance-related costs.
Anglian Water savings from early warnings of developing aeration rotor failures:
- Partial instead of full asset replacement: £18k
- Mitigation efforts (technician time, operational capacity): £20k
- Temporary equipment rental: £37k
- Category 2 pollution fine: £60-350k
- TOTAL: ≈ £135-425k
– Tom Rust, Technology Development Manager, Anglian Water
With our submersed equipment that we have been unable to reliably monitor before…we can now reliably and remotely monitor not only the condition but also the running characteristics to understand if assets are still performing efficiently. Being efficient lengthens the life of the asset, saves energy and reduces operational risk.