Industrial Water Digital Solutions China

Q&A: Corin Wei on China’s industrial water digitalisation push

Friday, 24 July 2020

Working towards sustainable development

Corin Wei is the chief digital officer, Greater China for Ecolab and will be speaking at the IWLF-China event on 31 August during Aquatech China 2020 in Shanghai.

Ahead of his keynote address, Aquatech Online caught up with him to discuss the role of digital technologies and solutions for growing industrial water applications in China.

-Aquatech Online (AO): The 2019 State of Ecology and Environment Report cited an overall improvement of national ecological environment in China, mainly as a result of the central government allocating RMB53.2bn to promote integrated management of air, water soil and rural environment. Do you think water pollution reduction is now getting the right attention it deserves in China?

  • Corin Wei, chief digital officer, Greater China for Ecolab (CW): 水污染防治法执法检查是生态环境部2019年监督工作的重中之重。中国政府也强调加强污染防治和生态建设,大力推动绿色发展,改革完善相关制度,协同推动高质量发展与生态环境保护

  • 对于水污染的治理和水资源的保护也是我们整个社会共同的责任和使命,从另外一个角度来看,也是在迫使企业向着更清洁、更可持续发展的方向努力。同时我们看到很大的机会,我们相信凭借我们在全球范围内积累的水管理解决方案和专业,可以帮助客户完成转型,这不仅仅是为了满足法律法规要求,也是在企业升级过程中为整个社会做了贡献。

  • Inspection by agencies on water pollution prevention and control was a top priority for the Ministry of Ecology and Environment in 2019. The Chinese government also placed emphasis on strengthening pollution prevention and control, as well as ecological improvement, vigorously promoting green development, reforming and improving relevant systems, and coordinating efforts to promote high-quality development and ecological protection.

  • "Managing water pollution and protecting water resources also forces enterprises to work towards cleaner and more sustainable development."

  • Managing water pollution and protecting water resources is also a common responsibility and mission of our society. From another perspective, it also forces enterprises to work towards cleaner and more sustainable development. At the same time, we see great opportunities. We believe that with our global water management solutions and expertise, we can help customers complete the transformation, not only to meet the requirements of laws and regulations, but also to contribute to the whole society in the process of enterprise upgrading.

-AO: How has your background at Alibaba and Honeywell helped in your role as the CDO of Ecolab Greater China?


  • 此前的工作经验,很好地帮助我在专业层面建立广度和深度,也让我能够“零过渡”到目前在艺康的工作,快速地适应新环境、尝试新挑战,带领艺康为客户提供符合其需求的数字化解决方案。

  • 我一直专注于移动互联网和物联网等领域的应用和实践,包括智能家居、智慧工厂等。像在阿里巴巴这样平台型公司工作,让我有机会接触到和了解不同行业、不同类型的企业,了解他们的运营和生产制造。在霍尼韦尔的经验则更侧重在较为垂直的领域,例如包括智能空气净化器、净水器等项目。

  • 因此我可以将此前与不同类型企业合作的经验包括B2B和B2C不同领域的专业经验,很好地融合到当前在艺康的工作中,为合作伙伴打造行业生态圈,用最快的速度和最佳的方式,满足业务发展和客户诉求。

  • 另外对于职业生涯发展,我始终都坚信脚踏实地的力量,但同时也不能忘记抬头仰望天空,这样才能根据时代发展不断革新、不断充实自己,我觉得这一点在数字化时代尤为重要。

  • My previous work experience helped me build breadth and depth in a professional capacity, and also enabled me to go through the transitional period smoothly in my current role at Ecolab. I have been able to quickly adapt to new environments and take on new challenges, while leading the team to provide customers with digital solutions that meet their needs.

  • I have been focusing on the application of mobile internet and the Internet of Things in the areas of smart home and smart factory. Working at a platform company like Alibaba gave me the opportunity to learn and understand different industries and different types of enterprises, as well as their operations and manufacturing. The experience at Honeywell was more ‘vertical’, where I worked on projects such smart air purifiers and water purifiers, among others.

  • Therefore, I am able to draw upon my previous experiences with different types of enterprises, including both B2B and B2C, in my current role at Ecolab, in order to create an industry ecosystem for our business partners and to meet business development and clients’ needs at the fastest possible pace and in an optimal way.

  • As for career development, I always believe in keeping my feet on the ground, but at the same time, I do not forget to look at the sky, so that I can constantly innovate and enrich myself, in line with the development of the times. I think this is especially important in the digital era.

-AO: Where do you see the most potential for disruption among commercial/industrial clients when it comes to digital solutions and water?

  • CW: 艺康的“全”水管理,结合数字化创新技术,以及产品、设备、咨询、培训等服务在内的全方位解决方案,帮助客户提升运营效率,将复杂问题简单化,实现可持续发展。我们的数字化技术根据客户需求,支持灵活多样的部署,并与其他包括能源、设备等多部门共同探讨整体的数字化需求和方向,帮助企业绘制一幅全水管理运营大图,让管理流程变得可视化。

  • 对于一些重工业企业例如电厂、钢铁厂,我们为他们提供一整套的解决方案,包括冷却水方案、热交换关键设备监控、enVision平台数据监测反馈等,有效地帮助他们优化冷却塔用水量、降低运营成本、降低换热器结垢等。例如我们帮助国内某大型钢铁厂自备电厂,每年节省水费人民币14万元,通过提高发电效率而节约成本6,48万元。

  • 轻工业领域,随着数字化发展的提速,中国数据中心的规模和数量也日益增长,我们的整体解决方案可以帮助数据中心在确保循环水系统稳定、高效运行的同时,带来安全、简便、清洁和环保的切实价值。我们的3D TRASARTM固体冷却水技术帮助某数据中心年节电7%,实现年化经济价值22,457元。

  • Ecolab’s Total Water Management strategy combines digital innovative technology and comprehensive solutions, including products, equipment, consultation, training and other services, which helps customers improve operational efficiency, simplify complex problems and achieve sustainable development. Our digital technology supports flexible and diverse deployment according to customers’ requirements, and we discuss the overall digital needs and direction with other departments, including energy and equipment, on a regular basis, helping enterprises to draw a full picture of water management operation and visualize the management process.

  • Heavy industry enterprises, such as power plants and steel plants, are provided with a complete set of solutions, including cooling water solutions, key equipment monitoring of heat exchange, data monitoring and feedback, through our enVision platform, which effectively helps them optimize the water consumption of cooling towers, reduce operating costs and reduce heat exchanger scaling.

"We helped a power plant owned by a large domestic steel plant to save RMB 140,000 in water costs every year."

  • For example, we helped a power plant owned by a large domestic steel plant to save RMB 140,000 in water costs every year and find RMB 648,000 in cost savings by improving the efficiency of its power generation.

  • In the light industry, with the acceleration of digital development, the sizes and numbers of data centers in China are increasing. Our integrated solutions help deliver real value in terms of safety, simplicity, cleanliness and environmental protection, while ensuring the stable and efficient operation of circulating water systems for data centers. Our 3D TRASARTM Solid Cooling Water Program helps a data center save 7 per cent on electricity every year, which is worth RMB 22,457 in annualized economic value.

-AO: Which particular industries in China will provide the most opportunity in the future for Ecolab’s products and services?

  • CW: 中国走在数字化转型的前沿,“新基建”将迎来加速建设和发展,包括工业物联网、大数据中心、人工智能等领域。而且经历了疫情的考验,很多企业包括艺康的客户对于数字化的诉求变得迫切。

  • 作为全球水、卫生、感染预防解决方案和服务领域的领导者,艺康的业务与中国社会的发展息息相关,我们认为我们的专长和服务,以及数字化创新,将助力解决和食品安全、水资源有效利用和环境清洁卫生等关键议题。

  • 艺康将继续加快数字化投入和发展进程以及本土化创新速度,为中国包括工业水管理、食品制造、餐饮、酒店、医疗等行业客户提供更符合其需求的解决方案。

  • 例如,疫情过后,整个社会在环境卫生健康保障方面的需求和意识也随之上升,酒店、餐饮行业客户也更倾向于使用数字化工具和手段保障顾客安全,我们也会帮助客户推出面向消费者、保障消费者健康安全的整体解决方案。另外,在工业水管理行业,随着产业互联网进程的提速,客户对于远程控制、远程操作的需求也有所提升,数字化进程也随之提速。

  • China is at the forefront of digital transformation, with accelerated construction and development of new infrastructure, including the industrial Internet of Things, big data centers, artificial intelligence and other fields. Moreover, after experiencing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, many enterprises, including Ecolab's clients, now have an urgent demand for digitalisation.

  • As a global leader in water, sanitation and infection prevention solutions and services, Ecolab’s business is closely linked with the development of Chinese society. We believe our expertise and services, as well as digital innovation, will help address key issues facing China, such as food safety, efficient water management and environmental cleaning and sanitation.

  • Ecolab will continue to accelerate investment in digitalisation and development processes, as well as in localised innovation, to provide more suitable solutions for customers in industrial water management, food manufacturing, food services, hotels, healthcare and other industries in China.

"After the outbreak of the pandemic, the demand and awareness of the whole society in environmental health and health protection also increased."

  • For example, after the outbreak of the pandemic, the demand and awareness of the whole society in environmental health and health protection also increased, and the customers in the hotel and catering industries were more inclined to use digital tools and means to ensure the safety of customers. We also help customers launch consumer-oriented and overall solutions to protect the health and safety of consumers. In addition, in the industrial water management industry, with the acceleration of the industrial internet process, customers’ demand for remote control and remote operations have also increased, and the digital process has also accelerated accordingly.

-AO: Your keynote address at Aquatech China will address how technology can ultimately help to meet regulations. What will be your key messages the audience can look forward to hearing?

  • CW: 我们希望可以借助Aquatech的平台,分享我们多年来在工业水管理领域的最佳实践、积累的经验,以及数字化技术的应用,分享我们对于行业发展趋势的看法,未来的机遇和挑战,期望与行业伙伴一道推动工业水管理行业的进步,促进可持续发展。

  • We hope to leverage the Aquatech platform to share our best practices and accumulated experience in industrial water management, as well as the application of digital technology. We also hope to share our views on industry development trends, future opportunities and challenges, and to join hands with industry partners to promote the progress of industrial water management, eyeing a long-term sustainable development.

- Corin Wei is the chief digital officer, Greater China for Ecolab and will be speaking at the IWLF-China event on August 31st. For more information, click here.

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