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Valmet discusses smart water management in Slush

Start-up and innovation event Slush was arranged in Helsinki, Finland on November 11-12, 2015. The purpose of the event was to bring startups and tech talents to meet with international investors, executives and media. This year, Slush brought together 15,000 attendees and over 1,700 startups.

As part of the Slush evening for circular and clean solutions, Valmet participated a panel discussion arranged by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. The discussion revolved around smart water and marine solutions.

Smart technology enables process and profitability improvement

Heli Karaila, Product Manager, Measurements from Valmet’s Automation business line, discussed how smart technologies and Industrial Internet can contribute to mitigating pollution and help to efficiently manage water supply and wastewater treatment. The processes of Valmet’s customers’ in pulp, paper, energy and other process industries are very water-intensive, which is why efficient water management plays  a key role. While the overall profitability of production becomes more and more important, the continuously tightening environmental permit values in water and wastewater sectors are putting increasing pressure on improving process efficiency.

“Reliable online measurements and advanced control and reporting applications are key elements in increasing the performance of processes and optimizing the use of energy and chemicals for instance. Valmet has long experience of developing reliable online measurements, and as an example, our end customers have reported that in the sludge dewatering it is possible to achieve polymer savings of 20% and even higher based on such measurements,“ Kairaila explains.

Valmet also has long history of Industrial Internet and is currently in the forefront of this development. In early 2000, Valmet started to provide its customers with 24/7 remote services for troubleshooting assistance and preventive maintenance. In 2010, Valmet’s customers were already utilizing Industrial Internet solutions to increase their productivity, end product quality and raw material efficiency.

“The movement towards advanced Industrial Internet has been an evolution. It has evolved from the early stages of unit processes to mill wide data monitoring and optimization. Today we are already extending the scope outside the factory which means that possibilities are huge. In the water sector where a setup of various systems is typical and piping distances are long, the Industrial Internet helps to share, analyze and utilize data between all the systems of a plant. It also enables the use of preventing maintenance and monitoring functionalities as well as alerts via mobile applications that have access to all process information anytime and anywhere,” Karaila continues.

New opportunities from Industrial Internet and smart technology

Smart technologies linked with the so called big data is a continuously evolving area, which brings new opportunities with it. “Valmet sees the Industrial Internet as a big possibility from the end customer’s point of view but also from the technology and business development point of view. In this area we collaborate closely with various research and other partners, and see that there is a lot of possibilities to discover when it comes to analyzing the big data and related measurement solutions.”