ABB appoints manager to grow UK water business

ABB has appointed James Chalmers to head up its UK water team to focus on meeting utilities challenges such as managing leakage, optimising pump performance, improving potable water quality and energy efficiency. He replaces Tim Door who has moved to a new position within ABB.

ABB has appointed James Chalmers to head up its UK water team to focus on meeting utilities challenges

Chalmers joined ABB in 2005 from Routeco, the specialist distributor of industrial control and automation products, where he was a drive product specialist.

Joining ABB, Chalmers developed the company's low voltage AC drives business in the south-west of England, which included nurturing relationships with several water utilities including South West Water, Wessex Water, Welsh Water and Bournemouth Water.

Chalmers graduated from Swansea University with a degree in electrical product design engineering and is currently studying for his MBA.

In his new role as UK and Ireland Water Industry Manager, Chalmers plans to further develop ABB's UK market leadership in drives, motors, instrumentation and low voltage products by concentrating on four key pillars: energy and CO2 reduction, efficiency improvements, innovation and future-proofing.

Energy and CO2 reduction
"ABB is strong in supplying energy saving variable-speed drives and high efficiency motors to the UK water industry," says Chalmers. "In addition, ABB's measurement products are the first line in any energy management programme. Potential energy savings can be achieved through leakage detection improved dosing control and improved combustion control. Data from instruments such as flue gas analysers can be used to help optimise combustion efficiency."

Improving efficiency
C2C is a consortium of Severn Trent Services and Costain, and is a member of the Aquatrine Supplier Association that transferred responsibility for Ministry of Defence's (MoD) water services to three different contractors. C2C is responsible for providing water services sites in the North, East and South East of England.

"The C2C project has used ABB electromagnetic flowmeters to meet strict government sustainability targets 11 years ahead of schedule," explains Chalmers. "By applying the latest techniques and technologies in leakage detection, like ABB's AquaMaster, and repair across the Defence estate the Aquatrine team has been able to deliver savings of 25 million litres of water every day.

"Electromagnetic flowmeters played a key role in cutting water leakage across a large swathe of the Ministry of Defence estate with reductions of 60 percent achieved at some sites. Leakage dropped by approximately two million m3/year across more than 1,500 MoD sites where water and waste utility assets are managed by C2C Services.

"ABB has launched a number of 'world-firsts' in recent years, including the AquaMaster 3 flowmeter that now includes solar and wind power options in addition to battery and mains powered options. This means a flowmeter can now be located in remote locations.

"We also work closely with our partners. Recently IDS determined that the viscosity of sludge could be more accurately measured using a mathematical algorithm and an ABB variable-speed drive. Using the drive and algorithm to measure viscosity removes the need for external measuring devices and sensors. It also reduces energy costs as the pump speed can be varied to pump the correct percentage of solids, only when needed. In fact pumping time has been cut by up to 90 percent."

Future proofing
"Helping customers to manage their water networks more effectively is a key issue for ABB. Investing in ABB's technology now can help to ensure that precious water supplies are accurately and reliably monitored. Water scarcity is likely to become an increasingly pressing issue, particularly through water shortages caused by freak heat waves and a rising UK population.

"An example of future-proofing is 'Project Neptune', a joint programme between ABB, two water companies (Yorkshire and United Utilities), the EPSRC and a number of UK universities. ABB's AquaMaster flowmeters are used to help gather real-time information on the pressures and flows in water distribution systems. This enables users not only to detect and repair leaks before they impact on customer supplies, but also to help anticipate where failures are most likely to occur."

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 124,000 people.

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