This followed a demonstration site being set up in the OIdham District Metered Zone, selected due to its “remote control capabilities and high degree of instrumentation at sites”.
After a 12-week programme, Emagin and UU estimated that they generated 22 percent in cost savings, giving a “payback period of five months”.
Collecting data from sources including flowmeters and SCADA systems, the AI platform generated real-time pump schedules, using Machine Learning to help the utility adapt its operations to choose the lowest cost option.
The utility said that the employees previously responsible for this task have been repositioned to spend “more time on human intervention and skilled work”.
Providing water and wastewater services for three million homes and 200,000 businesses, United Utilities signed the agreement following its flagship ‘Innovation Lab’ project: a ten-week “bootcamp” type initiative took place in Spring 2017.
In total, 80 companies applied to take part with the list whittled down to seven suppliers in total. Following the ten weeks of the Innovation Lab, United Utilities then decided to continue working with four of those seven companies, including Emagin.
Kieran Brocklebank, head of innovation at United Utilities, said: “Emagin was the first company we’ve come across who have high technical skill in AI, which is a huge digital innovation trend, and also couples that with water industry experience.”