IIC Journal of Innovation 6th Edition - Page 29

Outcomes, Insights, and Best Practices from IIC Testbeds: Intelligent Urban Water Supply Testbed This article gathers information from the Industrial Internet Consortium’s (IIC) Intelligent Urban Water Supply Testbed. The information and insights described in the following article were captured in an interview conducted by Joseph Fontaine, Vice President, Testbed Programs at IIC with Dr. Shi-Wan Lin, CEO and Founder of Thingswise, LLC. Shi-Wan is an IoT Technologist who serves as Co-Chair of the IIC Technology Working Group and the Architecture Task Group. TESTBED PROFILE improving water supply management. WPG has been thinking of ways to adopt industrial internet technologies in the water supply sector, making them scalable and at low cost, so that it can benefit water supply management for a large number of cities. In doing so, they look to transform their business model from a conventional equipment manufacturer to an intelligent water supply service provider as well. The Intelligent Urban Water Supply Testbed is about building an intelligent water supply management system. Obviously, water has been an important element in our lives and it has become an increasingly scarce resource due to the growth of populations and the over-usage of natural resources. The challenges in water supply are aggravated by the lack of visibility into water supply operations including the equipment’s operational state, if they are running normally and how well they are running. As a main category of water supply equipment, water pumps are sophisticated industrial automation systems controlled by Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). However, once installed, they often operate independently without connectivity to some centralized management system. If a pump fails, someone on the property would make a call to the water supply company, or to the manufacturer before technicians can be dispatched to repair it. This reactive process tends to have a long turnaround time leading to a longer period of service outage. Furthermore, repairs after failures are often more costly. With the industrial internet, connecting the equipment or sensors to remotely collect data from them, and applying analysis to the data to monitor and detect early signs of failure, may greatly improve this process and offer other improvement, e.g. in energy efficiency and Water quality is undoubtedly of great importance. However, visibility into the water quality is often lacking in various locations of the water supply pipeline network. Energy is another issue. With the rapid growth in the urban settings in China in the past 30 to 40 years, a great number of high-rise buildings have been built. To supply water to these buildings, large water pressurized pumps are installed in these buildings. These water pumps consume substantial energy. Because of lack of visibility, it is often not known whether their energy use is efficient. WPG is a leading water supply manufacturer in China and among the very first members of the IIC. They recognized early that the industrial internet offers great potential for 28 November 2017