Northern Ireland Water expands AI asset monitoring programme 27 May 2022

Samotics has expanded the deployment of its AI-driven SAM4 system across Northern Ireland Water’s submerged assets.

Samotics was initially selected by Northern Ireland Water to provide continuous insight into the health, performance and energy efficiency of its sewage pumps as part of a pilot. After seeing early successes in the programme, Northern Ireland Water plans to roll out the SAM4 system to additional sites to further explore all its capabilities across a variety of pump types and processes.

Ensuring the health of submerged pumps is vital to avoid costly, disruptive repairs and prevent damaging pollution events, but assets’ remote location makes it hard to acquire high-quality, high-frequency data. SAM4 solves this problem by analyzing the current and voltage signals of electric-driven motor systems using a technique called electrical signature analysis (ESA). The system’s sensors install in the motor control cabinet, rather than on the pump itself, enabling reliable, remote capture of asset health data. The system is said to provide superior detection performance for both electrical and mechanical faults, allowing Northern Ireland Water to detect over 90% of developing failures up to five months in advance.

The decision to scale the number of assets monitored by SAM4 was made as a result of significant successes across the programme. In the months following installation, Samotics detected developing faults in two pumps that could have resulted in the complete failure of these assets. Through early intervention, Northern Ireland Water successfully resolved issues and prevented estimated direct damage to the pumps of over £44,000. Most important, Northern Ireland Water minimized the risk of potential pollution events and their significant environmental impact.

Paul Foley, M&E field manager at Northern Ireland Water said: “Northern Ireland Water has been adopting predictive maintenance at the problem sites. We selected Samotics and its SAM4 technology as it’s easy to install the hardware in our existing MCC panels, and because the SAM4 dashboard provides us with a lot of useful information. For example, SAM4 brought to my attention issues with one of our submersible pumps located in a busy office carpark. This insight helped me to plan crews, issue notifications and permits, as well as organize a 25-tonne crane, which allowed us to lift and inspect the pump at the most optimal time, minimising downtime and maintaining pump resilience.”

In addition to monitoring the health of critical assets, Samotics is also enabling Northern Ireland Water to track pump performance and efficiency in support of its zero carbon strategy. Using SAM4’s real-time pump performance curve and energy monitor, Northern Ireland Water can identify targeted interventions that improve energy efficiency with a demonstrable return on investment. “SAM4 allowed me to build a CAPEX business case using actual pump data,” said Paul Foley. “This helped us select more suitable, energy-efficient pumps at our problem site.”

Operations Engineer

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