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February 7, 2019 Jeremy Boren

TechHub: Pennsylvania Water Authority Begins Digital Journey; GrayMatter Launches Events in 10 Cities; Low-Coding

West View Water Authority's administrative building in West View, Pa.

West View Water Authority Begins Data-Driven Digital Utility Plan to Benefit Customers

West View Water Authority is exploring how a new approach to data analysis as a “Digital Utility” can help lower operating costs and spot efficiencies in its system of 200,000 customers spread across 32 municipalities in Western Pennsylvania.

The initiative is part of West View’s nine-goal Strategic Plan, which relies on access to and analysis of data. As the cost of sensor systems drop and their use increases, data is increasingly available to water utilities. That’s fueling the Digital Utility trend among organizations seeking to make better decisions and deliver services at a lower cost.

Water utility consultant Parkview Advisors, of Alexandria, Va., is teaming with GrayMatter to design a Digital Master Plan for West View that will support a robust business intelligence platform capable of identifying valuable operational insights.

“Our work will serve as West View’s roadmap to implement a holistic approach to the use of data for operating with enhanced compliance, increased efficiency and improved security,” said Jim Good, President of Parkview Advisors LLC. “According to research, when this type of digital approach is implemented, as much as 20 percent on capital expenditures and 30 percent of operating expenses can be saved.”

Finding Breakthroughs

Digital Utility

West View Water Authority in West View, Pa., near Pittsburgh.

West View’s system of more than 800 miles of water mains, 10 reservoirs and two treatment plants provides more than 5.8 billion gallons of water a year.

The Authority’s control systems generate a huge amount of data that, as part of a comprehensive strategy, can be analyzed to predict failures before they happen, optimize maintenance programs and use energy more efficiently. GrayMatter has worked with utilities in Cincinnati, Akron, Bonita Springs, Fla, Pearland, Texas, and Kamloops, British Columbia, to help them better harness their data.

GrayMatter’s Industrial Internet of Things technologies have led to water and wastewater client breakthroughs including: 50 percent reduction in pump station inspections, $300,000 in yearly savings from alarm efficiencies, and a 15 percent drop in compliance costs.

Most recently, GrayMatter worked with the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati to reduce storm water overflow by 1.4 million gallons in that system’s Mill Creek Basin.

“We generate lots of data every day and owe it to our customers to use it to benefit them,” said Bob Christian, executive director of the West View Water Authority. “Parkview Advisors and GrayMatter bring hands-on utility and digital transformation experience that will provide us with a master plan for doing just that. It will also help us in our quest to continually become more efficient and better serve our customers.”

GrayMatter CEO Jim Gillespie, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, said he is excited to co-innovate with a forward-thinking utility.

“We’re all about helping Pittsburgh communities become digital utilities – taking their data to the next level and connecting it to business platforms.”

GrayMatter Is Coming to a City Near You in 2019

We’re thrilled to announce that GrayMatter is hosting events in ten cities this 2019: Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Denver, Orlando, Kansas City, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Houston, Chicago and our annual main event Transform 2019 in Put-in-Bay, Ohio (get the Early Bird Rate now)!

We have speakers and sessions for everybody, from the plant floor operator to the CIO tasked with a 2019 Digital Transformation.

Don’t miss GrayMatter’s events in 2019 for operational technology professionals.

emPOWERUP 2019: Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Denver, Orlando, Kansas City, Toronto

The 2019 emPOWERUP Summit is for engineers, operators and managers who thrive on the plant floor and specialize in Operational Technology (OT).

Team members from GrayMatter and GE Digital will take you through the most important technology updates because that’s what operators have told us they want to learn.

Digital Disruptors Speaker Series:Pittsburgh, Houston, Chicago

Join us this spring for a half-day session featuring your city’s dynamic technology leader. They will insights about how connected technologies and a company culture that embraces change can drive innovative solutions.

This one is for operational technology leaders who want to learn about the latest trends and industry case studies from their peers and GrayMatter’s technical experts.

Transform 2019: Annual OT Conference 

Digital transformations are underway in every industry. Join us for our annual conference, Transform 2019, designed for those who specialize in Operational Tech (OT) and thrive on the plant floor.

What is Low Code?

Low coding is the Lego building blocks version of programming.

Learning to code doesn’t have to be all about mastering the raw fundamentals of a programming language. Some platforms, like Salesforce, support what’s known as Low-Coding, or as CIO puts it, a Lego building block approach to programming.

“Developers are increasingly using low-code development platforms to arrange application components, including data and logic, via a drag-and-drop interface — think virtual Lego blocks that users can move around with a mouse and a cursor.”

CIO notes that demand for low-code solutions is growing.

The market could reach “$21.2 billion by 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 40 percent,” according Forrester.

Jeremy Boren

Jeremy is GrayMatter's Brand Manager and the author of TechHub and the emPOWERUP Podcast. He writes about digital solutions, trends and culture in the world of operational technology. Jeremy's background is in daily journalism. He has a passion for storytelling and enjoys highlighting the technologies and professionals taking on complex challenges in manufacturing, energy, cybersecurity and infrastructure.