VIBRATION & TILT MONITORING CASE STUDY
Columbus Waste Water Treatment Plant Expansion
High-visibility Economic Development Project Required Vibration & Tilt Monitoring
The City of Columbus, OH, is expanding its Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant (SWWTP) as part of its long-term economic development plan. With an average flow of 120 million gallons per day, the SWWTP is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the country, situated on 288 acres and serving over 530,000 residents.
DRW Associates of Twinsburg, OH, was retained to monitor potential vibration and tilt of existing structures during the excavation and construction of a new digester that the expansion plan called for. The site for this additional digester required exposing the foundations of an adjacent digester and nearby control facilities.
“Two-for-one” Vibration & Tilt Monitoring with Inzwa
Joel Kurtz, VP – Operations Manager for DRW Associates, chose to use Inzwa’s Veva III on the project due to the device’s ability to monitor both vibration and tilt.
“We had plenty of seismographs on hand for monitoring vibration,” Kurtz said. “To monitor tilt, however, we needed to purchase additional equipment. I thought Inzwa’s ability to measure both vibration AND tilt natively without any extra accessories made it ideal for this job.”
" I thought Inzwa’s ability to measure both vibration AND tilt natively without any extra accesories made it ideal for this job.”
DRW Associates placed two Inzwa Veva IIIs and two traditional, geophone-based seismographs on the project. According to Kurtz, “the difference was night and day."
“Let’s start with their size,” he said. “Our existing 'graphs, I can get about four in the bed of my truck,” he explained. “And because each box weighs at least 60 pounds or so, to get them to the site I need to use a hand truck to carry and maneuver them,” he continued.
“Night and Day” Difference vs. Traditional Seismographs
“Four Inzwa units? I could carry them in a backpack.”
Also, because the Inzwa devices came with everything fully integrated, “all I needed to install them was a concrete anchor, a bolt, and a few minutes,” Kurtz said.
“Our existing ‘graphs? We had to build the box, then attach a deep-cycle marine battery, a solar panel, a modem, and an external antenna to the ‘graph,” he explained. "The difference was night and day."
Vibration and Tilt Monitoring a “Night and Day Difference”, Too
According to Kurtz, getting the two types of monitors activated couldn’t have been more different, either. “Our existing ‘graphs aren’t cloud-based, so the setup is quite a bit more difficult,” he stated. “First we have to dial into the modem from a laptop and program it
for the ‘graph; then we connect to the seismograph through the modem and program it through a VPN and AWS (Amazon Web Services). You also can’t interact with the ‘graph in real time [like you can with Inzwa],” he continued. “To check it, you have to log into AWS from your laptop, find the ‘graph, and if you want to know anything about it, you have to stop monitoring to look at any settings.”
“With Inzwa, I was able to program everything in the Cloud platform before I left for the site. Once there, all I had to do was drill a hole, bolt it to the wall, turn it on and confirm it was connected from my tablet,” he said. "That was it.”
And if he wants to check and make adjustments? “All I have to do is log on from my tablet and make the change without needing to stop monitoring,” Kurtz said. “It’s night and day.”
With Inzwa, I was able to program everything in the Cloud platform before I left for the site. Once there, all I had to do was drill a hole, bolt it to the wall, turn it on and confirm it was connected from my tablet. That was it.”
Five Ways Inzwa is Improving the Bottom Line
Every time I don’t have to make a service trip,
I know I’m saving money."
Joel Kurtz, DRW Associates
While Kurtz hasn’t done a formal ROI analysis yet, he knows he’s both saving money and making money with the Inzwa Veva IIIs.
He’s saving on installation and activation. With Inzwa’s complete Cloud platform, battery and cellular integrations, it's taking him minutes what had previously taken hours.
He's saving on maintenance. His existing geophone-based units require periodic servicing to change batteries. Conversely, Inzwa's robust, fully integrated lithium battery will power the device for up to a year without needing service. "Every time I don’t have to make a service trip, I know I’m saving money."
He's saving on managing the devices. The simplicity of the Inzwa system saves on manpower, too. “With our current system, we’ve had to have a whole other person dedicated to getting the programming done and monitoring them to ensure the system is working,” Kurtz explained. “With the Inzwa system, though, I can have the programming done before I leave the house just by logging into the Cloud, and I can easily manage the devices myself from my tablet… it basically can remove a full-time role, and that’s a huge difference.”
He's saving on the devices themselves. Since the Inzwa Veva III comes fully integrated and ready to go out of the box, there is no need for adding on the accessories that traditional systems require. “With our existing ‘graphs I have to still buy the same anchor and bolt [as with Inzwa], plus the solar panel, plus the modem, plus the battery, the antenna and the enclosure… there’s $1,000 right there,” Kurtz estimates.
He's able to get twice the use from Inzwa's dual monitoring capability. Finally, Kurtz is getting a two-for-one benefit from the Inzwa Veva III that his existing devices can’t deliver. “With Inzwa, I buy one unit, I am able to use it for tilt, or vibration, or both - all from one device,” he explained. And it is available for more than just one type of monitoring job in the future. “The more the unit’s in the field, and on the shelf less, the more profitable it is and the better our ROI.”