Handling the pressures of water treatment

According to Vega, a water treatment system for a major metropolitan area in the Midwestern United States demands careful monitoring and management of processes across its sprawling network.

Process automation using pressure transmitters can be a major aid to the personnel in charge of ensuring the operation of the many moving parts that make up a water treatment system. In the case of this water company, they discovered that choosing VEGA for their process automation needs means more than just obtaining precise and reliable pressure sensors.

Left to their own devices

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Prior to working with VEGA, the water company already understood the benefits of using pressure sensors throughout their treatment system. In theory, these instruments would allow them to easily automate their processes so that they would have more time to work on more pressing matters. Unfortunately for this company, the reality failed to live up to their dream of a streamlined system of processes.

The first unexpected hurdle the company faced was the challenge of using sensors from many different manufacturers. While using instrumentation from a variety of manufacturers worked on a technical level, in practice it proved to be a headache for water company personnel. Chief amongst these issues was the overall end user experience; the devices were difficult to configure and operate, and since they were using so many different manufacturers’ devices, the knowledge they gained on learning to operate one sensor typically weren’t transferable to using another. The other major hurdle was in obtaining support for their devices. According to company personnel, personnel had to just do their best to optimally configure and troubleshoot scores of devices. This situation continued for some time, and while the company was interested in standardising their pressure devices to a single manufacturer, their experiences thus far had left them without a clear choice of a reliable partner. That’s before they met VEGA.

Discovering the VEGA experience

The water company’s search for a new instrument supplier eventually led them to the process measurement experts at VEGA. What began as a simple exploration into one of VEGA’s pressure sensors turned into a complete surveying of the company’s processes alongside VEGA personnel. According to water company representatives, they couldn’t believe that VEGA personnel were willing to spend so much time with them – over the course of multiple days – to tour their facilities and meet the people involved in their instrumentation and automation decisions to better understand their needs. It wasn’t just VEGA’s time investment that impressed the water company; VEGA was able to provide trial units for the company to try out on multiple applications, allowing them to see firsthand what set its’ pressure instrumentation apart from what they had used up to that point.

They were impressed by the precision and reliability of the measurements, but what they liked most of all was the ease of use across each of the sensors they tried out. The sensors were easy to set up and configure, and some even offered features like Bluetooth connectivity that allowed operators to wirelessly monitor, set up, and adjust them through the VEGAToolsapp. After exploring what VEGA’s solutions could do for them, the water company realised they had found the instrumentation partner they were looking for. They have added VEGA sensors across their entire system, and VEGA personnel were there to help every step of the way, not only helping them set up and commission the devices, but also training company operators on how to use the sensors and best leverage them to reach their process automation goals.

Precise and reliable measurements across the system

Today, the company utilises VEGADIF 85 pressure transmitters to handle influent and effluent flow metering in numerous locations throughout their system. Its high precision measured value detection makes this sensor capable of measuring very low differential pressures, meaning the water company obtains data they can rely on.


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