Encourage companies and service providers in the sanitation sector to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to maximize their measurement and management processes in the distribution of treated water, contributing to systematically and constantly reduce water losses. This is the main objective of the partnership signed between SmartAcqua Solutions, a solution developer focused on managing and fighting water losses, and Accell Solutions, a leader in the market of water meters, commonly called hydrometers.
Adding more than 75 years of expertise in the segment of utilities (water, gas, energy and smart solutions) and incorporating the technologies developed by Schlumberger, Actaris and Itron, Accell currently serves almost all utilities in the area of sanitation in Brazil, with a strong presence in other Latin American countries. According to the commercial director Caio de Mello Azevedo, specifically in relation to loss reduction and consulting projects, the joining of forces with SmartAcqua will allow us to provide sanitation companies with solutions that enable them to mitigate treated water losses and improve the management of their commercial and operational indicators. "It is a solution that is already ready, prepared for this type of performance and that is why we were able to add it to our portfolio for the reduction of water losses," explains Azevedo.
In the assessment of Enéas Ripoli, CTO of SmartAcqua, a common denominator between the two companies is the determination to foster projects, now in partnership, so that every day more sanitation companies see that the integration of IoT technologies, present in Accell's meters, and AI technologies of the SmartAcqua platform, is fundamental to make them able to seek operational efficiency and meet the goals stipulated by the sector's new regulatory framework.
Accell's estimate is to sell more than five million water meters in the Brazilian and Latin American markets by 2023, based on the need to update the companies' parks, as well as with regard to the new Inmetro Ordinances #155 and Ministry of Health Ordinance #188. "Most of this equipment is more than five years old, and is well beyond its useful life, besides not meeting the new standards that address the contamination of drinking water due to contact with the components (raw material) of the water meters. The companies need to adapt to the changes in these water meters," explains Azevedo.
A Accell iniciou a produção de hidrômetros livres de chumbo com a nova liga metálica, a ecoCAZt®, o que entra em consonância com a necessidade apontada por Azevedo quanto à qualidade dos medidores de água. “Os hidrômetros desenvolvidos pela Accell são reconhecidos no mercado como os de melhor performance, o que envolve também melhor precisão metrológica, fundamental para que se consiga obter bom conhecimento dos índices de perdas físicas e, principalmente, comerciais, além de passar por todos os testes de potabilidade”, salienta Azevedo. Segundo o executivo, quando a companhia de água troca de medidor, os ganhos tendem a ser o aumento da precisão na medição e a redução de perdas. “A estratégia é nomeada de Medidor Com Serviço Agregado Alinhado à Sustentabilidade,” explica Azevedo.
In these performance projects, the SmartAcqua solution will allow to evaluate the recovery of water losses and revenues from the replacement of hydrometers. "It is a win-win model for all parties involved," Azevedo highlights. The use of the SmartAcqua platform will also provide sanitation companies with greater visibility on their losses, allowing them to identify leaks, fraud, problems in the networks, among others, and provide guidance on how to combat them. "Through Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms, the SmartAcqua solution can geolocate where apparent and real water losses are, providing service providers with the potential of these losses and the technical, operational, management and goal guidance to be achieved in an assertive and friendly manner," adds Ripoli.
For Helio Samora, SmartAcqua's CEO, the positive point of the partnership between the two companies is precisely the sum of their respective technologies that will contribute to effectively reduce water losses, which in Brazil have remained at levels above 50% for the last five years. Azevedo complements, highlighting that several factors have led to this status quo, among which are the scarcity of human and financial resources for this purpose, since companies tend to invest more in collection and treatment to make larger volumes of water available to the population, without realizing that the more they produce, the greater the losses are.
Another problem raised by the executive is that most water companies are still unable to realize the value that the use of technologies can provide. "The sector lacks knowledge and, in this sense, our mission is also to better disseminate information so that they start investing in the solutions and, consequently, improve their results," Azevedo highlights.
Headquartered in Americana (SP) and with a factory in Buenos Aires and distribution centers in Guadalajara (Mexico) and Santiago (Chile), Accell Solutions is a multinational company with Brazilian and Mexican capital. Since 2020, it began to develop its own brand of meters by incorporating assets from the North American company Itron, which also distributes in Latin America the products manufactured in other countries.