BI supplies cost-effective solutions for water and wastewater treatment


ABB Ability™ Smart Sensor converts traditional motors into smart wirelessly connected devices

Increasingly stringent regulations for water and wastewater treatment have seen a significant investment in new treatment technologies and processes. In addition, the country’s ageing infrastructure requires constant maintenance to meet the growing demand for water.

The water and wastewater treatment equipment market alone is growing at a CAGR of 7.4%, with huge growth expected by the end of the decade. In addition, municipal wastewater reuse is anticipated to increase by 61% by 2025, according to a recent report.

ABB Ability™ Smart Sensor converts traditional motors into smart wirelessly connected devices

Leading supplier Bearings International (BI) has a wide product portfolio that provides cost-effective solutions. The main products used in water treatment are bearings and seals, electric motors and variable speed drives (VSDs), V belts and pulleys, sprockets and chains, couplings and gearboxes.

BI is the authorised distributor for quality brands such as FAG, Koyo, Cooper, ABB, Rexnord, KOBO, Linkbelt and Continental. It also recently launched a range of IE1 ABB electric motors, which are available right now through its extensive countrywide branch network. “An IE3 range is expected to be launched imminently,” reveals BI General Manager Christian Chipamaunga.

The bulk of the applications in water treatment involve pumping. Here BI can supply a complete solution from the electric motor and VSD to the bearings, seals and lubrication, right through to the power transmission.

The ABB Ability™ Smart Sensor is a condition monitoring sensor that converts traditional motors, pumps, mounted bearings and gearing into smart, wirelessly connected devices. It measures key parameters from the surface of the equipment that can be used to gain meaningful information on its condition and performance, allowing users to identify any inefficiencies within their system and to reduce risks related to operation and maintenance.

The Varispeed VDriveplus from BI can be used in water treatment

“Maintenance can now be planned according to actual needs rather than based on generic schedules. This extends the lifetime of equipment, cuts maintenance costs and reduces or prevents unplanned downtime,” comments Chipamaunga.

Special requirements for products used in the water and wastewater treatment sector are a high IP rating as they are exposed to constant elements such as rain and dust. In addition, potable water requires a food-grade level of lubrication quality. Any metal components subject to rust contamination also have to be made from high-grade stainless steel.

“The demand for clean water is going to continue to increase, and even more with the current Covid-19 pandemic as people need to wash their hands more regularly. Urbanisation has meant that more and more people are moving to cities. Municipalities are going to have to commit to major investment in water and wastewater treatment works not only in order to keep up with the demand, but also to comply with the necessary regulations,” concludes Chipamaunga.

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