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Servelec Technologies is a long-time SWAN member; the aim of the SWAN forum is to increase awareness of the reasons why converting to smart, data-driven, water and waste water solutions is beneficial. 

Our Managing Director, David Frost, sat down with the SWAN forum and took the time to answer some questions and share his thoughts on: SMART water cities, the recent acquisition of Primayer, trends in the water and wastewater sectors and his vision for a globally connected and resilient world. 

Q: As an industry leader in the smart water and wastewater sectors, what trends do you think will make headlines in 2020?

At Servelec Technologies, we believe that there will be a number of significant technological trends in 2020 that will transform efficiency, save money and improve asset performance. With its geographically spread assets and multiple process that all generate massive amounts of information, key to ensuring these improvements is being able to capture and interpret this data in real-time. Our latest technology will help in this area, helping to deliver improved efficiency, cost savings and longevity as well as, ultimately, better-quality service for utilities’ customers. In summary, these trends are: Smart Data Analytics and Smart / Intelligent Sensors, Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) 4.0, Cloud Data Analytics, Digital Twin Narrow Band and Cyber Security.

Q: Servelec Technologies is at the forefront of data collection and processing, helping cities around the world secure and operate their infrastructure.  What is your vision for the intersection of smart water and resilient cities?

The advances we are making are enabling the collection and analysis of increasing amounts of data.  Much of this information was previously not available.  We are already deploying technology that will enable water organisations to adapt in real time to customer needs, for example, smart metering, showing demand in real time, impact of leakage on specific customers, detecting problems in the sewer network before it becomes a pollution event, amongst others.

Set against this are external factors such as growing demand for water, population increase and climate change, which will all drive the adoption of these new technologies in 2020. There is a pressing need - the Environment Agency is forecasting a water shortage by 2040 if consumers don’t cut usage by a third and water companies cut leaks by 50%.

The next generation of resilient water supply networks will use these new technologies to dynamically adapt their supply network, respond in real-time to changes in operational conditions, deliver performance metrics, and respond to increases in demand and respond to failures.

Q: In August, Servelec Technologies acquired Primayer. With Primayer on board, what is your vision for smart water networks? 

The investment in Primayer further builds out our leading portfolio in remote asset monitoring and control. Adding this technology to the Servelec Technologies portfolio will provide customers with greater choice in the Smart Data analytics space. The benefits for customers will be increased analytics, data capture and cloud storage functionality as well as cross coloration / analysis with other Servelec Technology products.

Primayer is well known for developing new products and services that utilise the latest industrial technology in order to meet the changing and longer-term future needs of our customers.  The merger is an ideal fit for solving the world’s urgent water network supply and water loss reduction challenges and will enable us to better develop a strong, global market position.

Q: What is your advice for young professionals hoping to jumpstart their careers in the water sector?

The water and wastewater industry is a broad sector that offers both challenges and rewards for young people. However, because water is a finite and fundamentally important resource, working in this industry is a real privilege. Tackling these challenges - water scarcity, climate change, and a need to reduce usage - will be hugely exciting and will require brilliant young minds to solve them. Utilising smart technology for remote asset monitoring and control is certainly an exciting area to work within this. 

The best advice I can give is to find an area within the industry that really interests you – whether its technology, service or engineering and then look at ways of making that step. There are many ways to enter the industry from traditional routes such as apprenticeship and graduate schemes to showing a real flair or understanding of the challenges. We are happy to work with schools, colleges and Universities to identify talented young people.