These days digital is everywhere. The wastewater treatment industry reflects this trend. As plant operators become more technologically aware, they expect the same level of convenience and visibility from the tools and solutions they use to manage their processes.
If you ask me why the demand for smart process management solutions is increasing, the short answer is “because we can do it”. The technology is already available; the key is to make sure you have the right tools and expertise in place to get the most from it. The real edge comes from the combination of chemistry expertise, algorithms, and smart process know-how that Kemira can offer.
The technology for smart process management is already available; the key is to make sure you have the right tools and expertise in place to get the most from it.
With Kemira KemConnect™, our wastewater treatment customers benefit not only from smart technologies but also from the knowledge and chemistry expertise of our vast network of application specialists. We can help customers with everything from optimizing phosphorus removal with KemConnect P-optimizer, to cutting costs and improving the efficiency of sludge dewatering with KemConnect SD.
To take an example from Denmark, we have fines on the amount of phosphorus that’s contained in the effluent from wastewater treatment plants, so that’s a direct cost to the customer. By helping them optimize their phosphorus removal we’re helping them cut the cost of the treatment process.
It’s an exciting time for Kemira because even if our smart process management offering is not yet widely known outside a select group of customers, we know that everyone can benefit from it. Once we have the chance to discuss with customers and prove the benefits with hard data and facts, it doesn’t take long to convince them. And right now we’re building dedicated teams in EMEA and North America to do just that.
Once we have the chance to discuss with customers and prove the benefits with hard data and facts, it doesn’t take long to convince them.
Typically the starting point is that a customer comes to us with a problem they’re trying to solve – for example, they might have an issue with struvite build-up, or they might be looking for a smart way to improve the Total Cost of Ownership of their sludge dewatering process. We can analyze their process and gather hard data via KemConnect, and then recommend a solution. As well as solving the issue at hand, we can often also highlight other ways we can improve the process, for example by optimizing the chemical dosage and dosing points, which often means less chemicals are needed.
We also save customers’ time by freeing up man-hours at the treatment plant. When they can track KPIs and keep an eye on everything that’s going on, they have more time to focus on being proactive and continuously improving the process rather than just firefighting when problems arise. And because we see everything that the customer sees, we can be proactive, too, by helping them to identify potential issues before they become bigger problems.
Because we see everything that the customer sees, we can be proactive, too, by helping them to identify potential issues before they become bigger problems.
Once a customer knows what smart process management can do for them, it’s our job to deliver on those promises and help them hit their KPIs. But even though we’re talking about new digital solutions, it’s simply not the case that we rush in and install a bunch of equipment and expect that to solve everything on its own. I’m very much a believer that preparation is the mother of success. Before things get started there’s some pre-work to do – testing, data analysis, site audits – and this is where we can really say we have the edge with our deep process and chemistry knowledge. Without this expertise, these digital solutions would be worthless.