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May 31, 2023

The key to predictive & preventative maintenance is?

Category: Water and Wastewater

It’s no secret that the water and wastewater industries are often considered public enemy number one regarding water conservation. Indeed, barely a week goes by without a report or news flash about how much water is wasted through leaks and equipment failure.

However, every industry professional knows the challenges that asset maintenance poses. Leaks are common, often occurring out of sight and unnoticed – at least, at first.

Only when the trickle becomes a flood does the problem eventually gets the attention it needs.

But by then, hundreds, thousands or even millions of cubic metres of water might already have been lost.

But the biggest question is, how to best address the problem? While new infrastructures are gradually being introduced, let’s not pretend that this will solve the issue any time soon. Older frameworks are and will continue to be used for many years.

Thankfully, advancing technology has brought a solution that goes a long way to helping both older and brand-new constructions to reduce this colossal water wastage – that of the smart water meters.

Spotting the early signs of equipment failure and water leaks

By far, the greatest culprit of water leaks is the humble seal. Small, but certainly not insignificant – when sealing integrity is compromised, the whole system is affected.

However, seals aren’t only notoriously difficult to survey and maintain manually, but they also fall foul of many mechanical issues, such as:

  • Vibrations
  • Temperature changes (both processing and environmental)
  • Process pressures

The only way to prevent leakages from seals is through constant surveillance and maintenance. This is impossible to implement manually. But with strategically placed smart meters, it becomes easy.

These clever gadgets continually monitor equipment operating conditions. Water leaks don’t occur without warning – it’s just the early signs tend to go unnoticed. A smart meter removes these oversights by providing constant monitoring data. It also sends alerts when vibrations, pressure or temperature move out of the programmed parameters.

When maintenance teams become armed with this valuable information, potential future failures become easier to spot. Not only can tweaks and repairs be instigated to prevent water leaks before they occur, but the system’s efficiency is better understood.

In turn, this allows for the following:

  • Better maintenance planning: Knowing where and when anomalies occur means multiple repairs and maintenance can be scheduled simultaneously. This leads to shorter and fewer periods of asset downtime.
  • More accurate MTBF understanding: Over time, the returned data allows better calculation of the actual meantime before seals and related equipment fail.
  • Increased safety: The better maintained the asset, the safer it is for everyone.
  • Reduced running costs: Whatever the industry, efficient assets equal lower running costs.

In addition, in an increasingly environmentally aware landscape, it’s morally and legally necessary to take every reasonable precaution to conserve water and energy. Companies that are seen to be taking steps to do this not only meet their obligations but also become more attractive to present and future customers, employees and, of course, their shareholders.

Chesterton Connect are the smart water meters to help you

Chesterton Connect is an advanced smart meter, simple-to-install equipment and process monitoring system for sealing systems and pumps compatible with new builds and retrofits. Once in place, it works via Bluetooth with an app, recording and sending continual data. This can be exported, allowing maintenance teams to understand the equipment’s operation and plan accordingly.

Water is the most precious commodity on the planet, and every company and individual is responsible for conserving it. Simple solutions are usually some of the most effective, and the refreshing simplicity of smart meters shows just how true this is.

Chesterton can provide bespoke solutions to overcome many of your plant operation challenges. To explore these efficiency and money-saving options, contact one of our experts today, or for more information, go to Chesterton Connect to know our range of Chesterton and Chesterton Customseal solutions.


This article was published in Inside Water Magazine.

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