United Utilities trials Samotics’ AI-based smart monitoring system to optimise pump efficiency and reliability
Samotics, a leading provider of AI-driven industrial analytics for asset performance management, has been selected for a 12-month trial by United Utilities Group PLC, one of the UK’s largest water and wastewater companies, to improve the reliability and efficiency of its operations. The trial emerged from United Utilities’ CEO Challenge initiative, in which teams of graduates in different business areas work together to find innovative solutions to business issues, such as maintenance excellence and minimising environmental impact.
Samotics’ SAM4 system has a suite of features to optimise pump efficiency and reliability. SAM4 analyses current and voltage data from electric motors using a technique called electrical signature analysis (ESA). The system’s sensors install in the motor control cabinet, rather than on the machine being monitored, enabling the reliable capture of detailed health data regardless of the machine’s location and exposure to hazards.
Thanks to a comprehensive proprietary library of predictive models and fault signatures validated by Samotics’ installed asset base, SAM4 provides superior detection performance for both electrical and mechanical faults. The system also provides a suite of energy and performance metrics, including a real-time pump performance curve. Together, these features will enable United Utilities to quickly identify when equipment begins to operate below the optimum level, enabling repairs and replacements to be scheduled more effectively to improve energy efficiency and prevent unnecessary wear and tear.
- United Utilities has a deep commitment to resilient, environmentally responsible water management, and we’re delighted to play a part in helping provide its customers with the best possible service at the lowest sustainable cost, said Jasper Hoogeweegen, chief executive officer at Samotics.
- Pumps pose a major maintenance challenge in industries like water management. With SAM4, operators can access more insights than ever before and in near real time, empowering them to act instead of react to upcoming challenges and ensure pumps continue to run efficiently and effectively.
Explaining why his team had identified Samotics’ technology as worthy of further testing, graduate team member Nathanael Pattison said: Monitoring the health of powered assets was a key priority in our CEO Challenge project as our team of graduates was tasked to find ways to optimise asset health understanding and monitoring. Samotics’ capabilities intrigued us due to its non-invasive approach to asset condition and performance monitoring and the possibility of developing real-time pump curves. We are excited to see how the trial proceeds and the insights we could gain to ensure we continue providing customers with great service because of strong operational performance.
The SAM4 system will be installed on 25 pumps at eight locations, testing a variety of pump types and processes, over 12 months before being evaluated.
During my 16-year career with the Royal Netherlands Air Force, I learned and experienced that having the right spare parts available or not affects the availability of technical systems. Aircraft stood still at Volkel Air Base due to a shortage of spare parts, while those in Kleine-Brogel in Belgium (68 km south) were in stock. For so-called consumables, I exchanged parts monthly with my Belgian colleagues. As a result, we solved each other's shortages and improved the availability of spare parts and thus the deployability of the aircraft.
Management of spare parts and other materials needed for realization of maintenance processes is one of the key functions in physical asset management. Especially in power generation, oil and gas and heavy chemical industries, spare parts inventories can easily add up to tens of thousands of various items, in a value of hundreds of millions of euros.