Water treatment, purification and recycling in hospitals across the world is both a vital and costly operation. One example of this is the ultra-pure water used for renal haemodialysis, traditionally this water comes at a high cost, where typically up to 60% of the incoming water into the plant is discarded as brine/concentrate (40% recovery). This has largely been due to inefficient design and a lack of adequate monitoring and process management on the part of the user. The key to improving this is improved design and management through extrapolating and analyzing data from the water treatment plant to assess and manage efficiency ensuring that wastage is kept to a minimum.
When collecting data between an IoT device or in this case plant machinery the challenge is to ensure that there is seamless connectivity irrelevant of the local GSM network (WiFi or LoRaWan solutions suffer from costly and often reliability/set up issues). In effect, the solution needs to work out-of-the-box and add to that the need for low power and crucially two-way secure data flow and the workable solutions are restricted. For Digital Twin any data collected also needs to be ingestible in a format in which it could work with.
Familiar with the u-blox Thingstream Communication-as-a-Service Digital Twin immediately knew that platform would be perfect for the project. Underpinning the platform, the service uses the MQTT protocol over GSM working seamlessly and out-of-the-box in over 190 countries. Critically, the service securely manages two way IoT data for the device. Once the data is received, Digital Twin presents the data through a dashboard to Enaqua (the data is updated every 10 mins, however this can be in real-time if required) and from there decisions can be made about water plant purification/recycling and performance and if any device needs remotely optimising to ensure maximum efficiency is constantly maintained.
The Digital Twin and Enaqua solution equates to monthly net savings for the renal dialysis unit of R5000.00 to R15000.00 per month depending on size of unit. This solution has initially been deployed in 4 South African National Renal Care facilities with further rollout happening in the forthcoming period.
“We have been able to take the data from Enaqua’s machinery and present a visual representation of how their machinery is performing. Our software learns patterns and with the help of u-blox Thingstream’s two way data connectivity platform, Enaqua can remotely update the PLC to make changes to water flows and maintain optimum efficiency ”
Richard Creighton, managing director, Digital Twin