GE and American Water have announced a new initiative that will ascertain and explore the potential for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in the water industry.
There are a number of pressing challenges revolving around water production, treatment, transportation and delivery, and it is hoped that the move will help the US lead the way toward a smarter water future.
The partnership represents something of a collaboration between two industry heavyweights. GE is a US-based digital industrial consultancy with a track record of transforming businesses with software-defined machines and IIoT solutions. On the other hand, American Water is the country’s largest publicly traded water and waste-water utility company. The initiative should enable the American water industry to harness the power of data and analytics to improve national water infrastructure. The moves have been made in conjunction with last Tuesday’s celebration of World Water Day.
In a statement released on the GE website, the company confirmed that the initiative will include the use of their Predix platform, which has been designed exclusively for the IIoT. The companies will now work together to develop the next generation of software and data analytics solutions, with a view to reducing water industry impact on the environment, cutting operating costs and increasing efficiency.
Heiner Markhoff, president and CEO of water and distributed power at GE said: “We are excited to launch our new digital collaboration with American Water by combining our collective expertise in software, water technologies and utility management to help the United States build a more sustainable and secure water future. We are developing software, advanced predictive analytics and diagnostic tools that will give operators the real-time data they need to better manage their critical water infrastructure assets 24 hours a day.”
“These are critical times for our nation’s water infrastructure,” said Susan Story, president and CEO, American Water. “We’re proud to collaborate with GE in seeking new and innovative ways to use data analytics to continue our tradition of providing solutions to our nation’s water challenges.”
IIoT can drive bigger efficiencies
Speaking exclusively to Internet of Business, Charles Sellers, managing director of remote monitoring specialists Vantage Point Technologies, highlighted the importance of increasing efficiency in the water industry. He said that “changes in the ‘deregulation’ of the water industry dictate that commercial margins will become critical, thus the need to control costs and add value to the consumer.”
“IoT and the exponential use of sensors from infrastructure to supply to consumption allows real time remote monitoring. This is the foundation for new services such as Smart Data, Real Time Analytics and Planned Maintenance. In the water industry, IoT technology can enable decision making in real time for both the industry and the consumer, helping us make the most of our most precious resource.”