Optimizing water management with the aid of digitalization

Digitalization can help to generate cost savings and to optimize water management.
Digitalization can help to generate cost savings and to optimize water management

While digitalization is making rapid progress in industrial production, the degree of digitalization in the water industry is nowhere near as good. Given its close ties to production, water technology must rise to the challenge, especially in industry. To achieve this, the water industry must become more flexible and interlinked; a closer idea of what this might look like was provided in detail by industry experts from DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V. in their position paper entitled "IndustryWater 4.0", which was published in 2018.

In its involvement with the joint DynaWater 4.0 project, EnviroChemie GmbH is implementing the concept of "IndustryWater 4.0" on its own Split-O-Mat® range of industrial water treatment products. Its aim is to fully and reliably integrate wastewater-relevant data from the industrial production process into the controller of an existing wastewater treatment plant. The data flows into a "digital twin" that can be used, for example, to continuously optimize operation. With the development of reliable data transmission and the "digital twin" in collaboration with its partners in the "DynaWater4.0" project, EnviroChemie hopes to further improve the Split-O-Mat® plants for physico-chemical treatment of industrial wastewater from various sectors.

Eight partners from the worlds of industry and research are focusing for the first time on the scientific, engineering and commercial potential offered by digitalization in industrial water management. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is sponsoring the joint DynaWater 4.0 project over a period of three years with a grant of more than 1.5 million euros.

The aim of DynaWater 4.0 is to build on the "IndustryWater 4.0" concept to interlink models and cyber-physical systems (CPS), sensor networks, data platforms, together with industrial water management components and industrial production. The idea is being demonstrated and evaluated using specific examples in the chemical, steel and cosmetics industries. The degree of networking ranges from digitally linking processes within a company across a site to tie-ins to the municipal (waste)water system. In addition, the partners want to demonstrate how other sectors can make use of these findings. The digital cooperation between industrial water management and production can be demonstrated at different levels through examples. At the same time, the ensuing potential for optimization needs to be estimated.

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