Northern Ireland Water monitors pump assets with Samotics AI technology

2 min read

Northern Ireland Water is using Samotics’ AI-driven SAM4 system across its submerged pump assets.

After SAM4 detected a developing fault in this submerged wastewater pump, the pump was lifted for inspection and the Northern Ireland Water team found that the claw connecting the pump to the discharge piping was hanging on with only one out of eight bolts.
After SAM4 detected a developing fault in this submerged wastewater pump, the pump was lifted for inspection and the Northern Ireland Water team found that the claw connecting the pump to the discharge piping was hanging on with only one out of eight bolts.

Initially, the water and sewage services company selected Samotics to provide continuous insight into the health, performance and energy efficiency of its sewage pumps as part of a pilot. But after early successes in the program, Northern Ireland Water now 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 the remote locations of the assets can make it hard to acquire high-quality, high-frequency data. SAM4 analyses the current and voltage signals of electric-driven motor systems using a technique called electrical signature analysis (ESA). Sensors are installed in the motor control cabinet, rather than on the pump itself, enabling reliable, remote capture of asset health data. The system allows Northern Ireland Water to detect over 90% of developing failures up to five months in advance.

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. Northern Ireland Water also minimised the risk of potential pollution events and their significant environmental impact.

“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,” said Paul Foley, M&E field manager at Northern Ireland Water. “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 organise a 25-ton crane, which allowed us to lift and inspect the pump at the most optimal time, minimising downtime and maintaining pump resilience.”

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. This includes optimising operational processes to reflect performance requirements and replacing pumps with more efficient or appropriate models to realize cost-savings.

“SAM4 allowed me to build a CAPEX business case using actual pump data,” said Foley. “This helped us select more suitable, energy-efficient pumps at our problem site.”

“We are delighted to be supporting Northern Ireland Water in its pursuit of securing long-term water infrastructure resilience,” said Jasper Hoogeweegen, CEO of Samotics. “With SAM4, the team can now focus on utilising real-time, data-driven insights to anticipate faults, improve performance and reduce carbon emissions of submerged pumps, enabling long-term reliability and efficiency of its critical infrastructure.”