Reliable remote monitoring

 Siemens’ automation solutions are helping water management company Belleaqua to provide the utmost reliability in their systems.
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Challenge

Revolutionizing water management

At first glance, the Flemish town of Wuustwezel is a quaint, bucolic Belgian municipality a stone’s throw from the Dutch border. But there’s a small firm tucked away in the suburbs that was founded by acclaimed water management pioneers: Belleaqua.

When Belleaqua was founded in 2002, water management regulations were not very strict – little importance was placed on wastewater management and its subsequent environmental implications. Laws were vague, and solutions in place were rudimentary; sanitation was almost an afterthought.

Then Belleaqua came along. Founder Jean-Pierre Depauw had previously owned a construction company and saw first hand that there was huge potential to make water management systems more dependable, reliable and environmentally-friendly. Depauw explains: “When water came into a tank, the tank had to be watertight. But there were hardly any regulations as to what the tank should look like, and no guaranteed technical specifications.”


Belleaqua realized that they could create secure water tanks that meet the highest standards and regulations, and set about creating water management solutions that met the Flemish organization VITO’s (Vision on a Technology for a Better World) CERTIPRO certification. “We had the first certificates on the Belgium market for a concrete wastewater system. The only thing that we wanted to do was optimize all the time, to make sure that the product is a golden product,” states Depauw. Moreover, the company was able to offer an attractive all-in-one solution – manufacturing installing and maintaining water management systems.

The company was soon supplying water management solutions to a variety of customers all around Belgium. Ranging from clients such as logistics firms looking for a secure way to dispense of industrial wastewater, to entire communities wanting to ensure a positive environmental impact to single, private homes in rural areas, Belleaqua grew rapidly. In most cases, the clients chose Belleaqua because of their promise to deliver an end-to-end solution. Depauw explains: “The companies selling wastewater systems are manufacturers, but they don’t install the systems and in some cases they don’t make the components. We wanted to provide everything from one source, and have a company that gives a complete solution, not just a product.”

We are optimizing all the time, to make sure that the product is a golden product.
Jean-Pierre Depauw, Founder of Belleaqua
Solution

The crux: The controller

The reliability of the systems is crucial to ensure the long-term success of the company – this is where LOGO! 8 comes in.

Implementing a programmable logic controller (PLC) to monitor water management systems at a distance was key to establishing Belleaqua’s reputation. The company wanted to be able to solve any potential difficulties before the customer was even aware that there was an issue. Depauw elucidates: “We have thousands of installations that are monitored from here. Our clients can let go – we take care of everything all by ourselves. If we can’t solve it from afar, we can organize a technician who goes to fix the problem. Before the customer experiences difficulties, we have already anticipated them and told the client that there is something wrong.”

 

Belleaqua operates a service center seven days a week, offering service desk support 8am-5pm, and after-hour support for emergencies.

 

The remote monitoring is dependent on a reliable PLC. Belleaqua’s old solution was proving to be inadequate and options were limited. Depauw is thrilled that Siemens was able to supply a controller that offered more. “At a certain point, we weren’t able to move on with our old solution, it didn’t have enough possibilities. Not to mention we were having quite a lot of difficulties with the communication modules in our previous solution, and we often had to replace them, which cost a lot. At Belleaqua, our clients pay one lump sum a year, and the rest is on us. So it’s important for us to have reliable components – we need the best air pump, best wastewater pump, and the best PLC.”

 

LOGO! is installed in the wastewater system’s control unit, and it detects faults and provides information as to water quality. Depauw explains: “With LOGO!, we can see how much oxygen is in the water, if we need more or less aeration and so on.” The PLC issues fault levels that provide information as to how serious the fault is (from power failure to loss of pressure) and whether a technician is required. If required, the urgency is determined, thanks to LOGO!, and a technician is assigned for repairs.

 

LOGO! also controls wastewater flow and the aeration times of the unit and aeration is a vital part of the biological wastewater treatment system. Belleaqua uses naturally-occurring microorganisms to break down wastewater contaminants, and these require oxygen to survive.

Benefits

Cost savings from a reliable Siemens solution

With Siemens LOGO! 8 and the CMR2020 communication module, Belleaqua is confident that it can drastically reduce unnecessary outgoings for repairs. 

“We did a lot of tests before we chose Siemens, and the test results proved performance and reliability 100% of the time. That 100% gave us a lot of confidence in the product, and that’s why we decided upon LOGO! 8 – Siemens had a good, reliable product, and it was the best solution for us,” effuses Depauw.

 

And while LOGO! and CMR2020 have just been introduced, Depauw is convinced that the Siemens solution will help the Flemish company to grow even further: “We have found Siemens reliable. We don’t have a single LOGO! that hasn’t replied or gone wrong – compared to the previous PLC, where we had been having difficulties, so this is great.”

LOGO! 8 is a good and reliable product – it's the best solution for us.
Jean-Pierre Depauw, Founder of Belleaqua
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References

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