AI company EMAGIN announces agreement with United Utilities

EMAGIN in United Utilities Control Room
EMAGIN’s AI technology live in the Integrated Control Centre at United Utilities. Photo credit: EMAGIN

EMAGIN announced it has secured a Framework Agreement with United Utilities (UU) to deploy its artificial intelligence (AI) technology across the North West of the United Kingdom (UK). Serving over 7 million residents, this is the largest deployment of AI technology in the region and first of its kind in the industry, says EMAGIN.

The technology will provide United Utilities with a suite of real-time digital capabilities ranging from optimized pumping, burst event detection and minimization of discolouration events.

“We are pleased to be working with the world’s leading artificial intelligence company in the water sector. EMAGIN’s holistic approach to operations aligns exactly with our vision towards systems thinking in our next AMP cycle,” said Steve Fraser, COO of UU.

Founded in Waterloo, Ontario, EMAGIN was one of seven companies selected from hundreds across five continents to participate in the UU Innovation Lab earlier this year. The lab environment allowed for a full trial deployment in an area of UU’s network. After a 12-week demonstration, work began on how to deploy the technology across the network and into other applications.

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The goal of the lab was to provide product validation from UU stakeholders and customers, co-location and testing in a live operational control centre environment. Successful implementation of EMAGIN’s technology, known as HARVI, led to energy savings of over 22% across the Oldham district metering zone.

Through machine learning, HARVI is able to learn the complex dynamics of any kind of system which reduces the burden on utilities to have to continuously calibrate and maintain numerical models.

EMAGIN says that the HARVI implementation process will be completed in stages and fully deployed by the end of 2019, after which pumping and resource control will be fully automated across the entire network.

“At United Utilities we’ve been working hard to better understand how to become more proactive about our operations. HARVI has played a crucial role in giving our ops team the upper hand,” said Simon Chadwick, Central Operations Director of UU.

Currently deployed across North America and the United Kingdom, EMAGIN says it is venturing into markets like Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, with current venture backers Tencent Holdings.

“This is an exciting time for us, United Utilities is one of the largest and most innovative water companies in the world and gives us a huge presence to grow in the UK and Europe,” said Thouheed Abdul Gaffoor, CEO of EMAGIN.

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