Mixed reality (MR), a blend of physical and digital worlds that users experience through mixed reality headsets, enabled Ecolab engineers to remotely see inside the plant and guide a single on-site field representative through installation, testing and implementation.
The new digital solution enabled the installation of PURATE chlorine dioxide generators at multiple facilities for one of the largest independent midstream energy infrastructure companies in the US. It was the first time Ecolab had used mixed reality to install, test and deliver a chlorine dioxide generator solution for cooling tower operations at an energy plant.
Ecolab leveraged the technology to install three PURATE generators, which generate chlorine dioxide and can be more effective than bleach or bromide solutions in controlling the fouling and microbial problems that can reduce the efficiency of heat exchangers in cooling towers.
“Due to the travel, social distancing and plant access restrictions in effect for Covid-19, a typical installation process that involves several on-site engineers was not possible for this company,” said Steve Kramarczyk, a corporate account manager for the Global Heavy division of Ecolab.
“Still, the company wanted to realize the cost and logistics savings PURATE offers, so we were able to use mixed reality to safely oversee its installation.”
Ecolab claims that through PURATE, the midstream company safely reduced costs, improved efficiency and simplified logistics for natural gas processing operations while improving sustainability.
“Digital technologies like mixed reality will have a transformative effect in the energy sector,” Kramarczyk said. “Not only will companies that embrace them be able to perform major equipment installations, they will be able to better assess risk, monitor their operations and improve their efficiency.”
Illinois-based Nalco Water, an Ecolab company, specialises in water treatment, energy and air applications.