Digitally controlled strategies for optimum performance


We are constantly creating innovations on application based technologies to deliver ‘Total Life Cycle Cost’ solution to our customers. Gaurav Mathur, Business Development (Building Services), Grundfos India

Gaurav Mathur, Business Development (Building Services), Grundfos India, in an interview with TCBU, highlights increasing demand for application based customised solutions across the industries persuaded them to stand unique amidst the industry.

What kind of products and solutions have you launched at ACREX 2020?
This ACREX, we focused on our iSolutions and digitalisation of products. We showcased our circulator pumps with inbuilt controls that function with the highest efficient motors which are IE5 compliant which exceed the European Union prescribed standards of IE3.

The first product is TPE3, in-line pumps that have excellent built in features and augmented communication capabilities. They are fitted with a permanent magnetic motor, integrated sensors, advanced control modes and multi pump functionalities. TPE3 pumps are easy to install, monitor and deliver maximum efficiency.

The other product is a circulator Magna-3, with intelligent control, inbuilt sensors for temperature, differential pressure control and flow-based control. Its unique feature is that it does not have a mechanical seal. If you see, most of the failure in pumps happens to the mechanical seal. So, when you do not have a mechanical seal in a pump, it becomes much more reliable. We have showcased, the Skid Mounted System that is basically a combination of our intelligent controls and prefabrication. When I say intelligent controls, we make the pumps much more adaptive and compact. This includes the variable frequency drive and the controls inbuilt in the motors with the sensors linked. First, we made compact pump sand, then we created a prefabricated system. So, practically, one doesn’t need to do any work at the site. It is just a system used to draw out piping and it’s ready to run.

One more unique thing that you will see here, is, the piping with a Cathodic Electro Deposit (CED) coating for Grundfos pumps. The CED coating increases the life of the system that reduces the corrosion and increases the resistance drastically. It also increases the efficiency because the surface is much smoother as compared to normal painting. We then have our digital controls for water transfer and sewage application along with the controllers for solar applications. We also have a system manager optimiser that helps in an air conditioning field where we have variable speed, primary chilled water pumping system that would have to work in coordination with the chiller, cooling towers and all the equipment. This is a solution developed on our digitalisation platform where we also manage the chiller staging and de-staging, cooling towers operation and deploy control strategies for optimising. So, we call it the System Manager and optimiser, where we do not just look at the pump efficiency, but look at the overall system efficiency.

We are taking our digitalisation technology to interact with our customers. With digitalisation, you can do a lot more in a very less space. So, practically, you would have had a virtual tour of our factory and products at our VR stall. That’s what we are showcasing, bringing digitalisation in our solutions in the way we interact with our customers and also the way to do our manufacturing.

How is digitalisation impacting the cost competitiveness of your products?
We always focus on providing total cost of ownership by providing innovative solutions that are energy efficient and intelligent, further reducing the overall cost for the customer. The total cost of ownership is reduced when one has more efficient and intelligent system which is not just focused on one product, but the overall system efficiency. So, yes, the cost of the products if you look at it from the product point of view, it definitely is priced premium. But if you look at the overall value and the total ownership cost, that is where the customer cost reduces, so they are ready to pay a premium for our solutions.

How far is the market open to accept these innovations?
When you come up with innovative solutions, you are required to do a lot of research, you are expected to create awareness in the market about your product’s capabilities, and what are the reaping benefits for your consumer. We create several interaction opportunities, where we discuss and help customers understand the application and look at how our solutions can bring value. We work with our customers, we work on energy efficiency calculations, and we present the Total Life Cycle Cost of our solution to our customers. We continue inventing innovative technologies and concepts focusing more on application.

India being one of the tropical countries, what kind of cooling solutions does you recommend complying with the environmental conditions?
In a country like India there is always a kind of nexus between cooling solutions and carbon footprint. With cooling, there is a CO2 generation that further increases the temperature. You have to look at solutions which are low on carbon footprint and are energy efficient. Also consider solutions which are designed for a long-term like district cooling application. There is a lot of work which has been done in the India cooling action plans and there are a lot of guidelines there. So, that is where the focus is, to have lower carbon footprint and energy efficiency.

What is your business outlook for next two years?
Well, as far as the air conditioning is concerned, I think is one of the fields which is going to attract huge investments and we see that there is a large focus on looking at intelligent solution and big data for arriving at actionable insights and following a system-based approach. We see a lot of focus on energy efficient sustainable solutions.

As a company, we are signatories to SDG 6 and SDG 13 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. One is focused on water and sanitation, while the other on climate action, and we feel that we have created a lot of impact in these areas. Looking at the overall global support towards these goals, we also take care of the way market is moving in India. Therefore, all solutions contributes to reduction of water usage, increase energy efficiency, limit carbon footprint, whilst supporting SDG 6 and SDG 13.

In February 2020 our factory received the LEED certification for platinum rated green building by US Green Building Council, and we are net zero water that translates to all the water being reused before getting discharged. As a company that is ‘Green at heart’, Grundfos understands the need for self-evaluation and is constantly working towards reducing the carbon footprint in its own facilities.

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