As technological innovation gathers pace, the drainage sector is not being left behind.  Increasingly, work is being digitised and connected. From Virtual Reality to the Internet of Things, new systems and products are being created each day which can have a massive impact on the industry. Leading to increases in productivity and much improved efficiency. 

This article was first featured in Drain Trader Magazine and talks about three of these tech trends which are particularly relevant to the Drainage industry.  Technology which is leading to reduced costs, better reliability and improved communication in order to ensure a more productive and more efficient sector. It’s important to keep aware of new technologies that can benefit you whilst starting to consider how these technologies could be adopted into your own system and processes.

1. IoT / Sensors

The Internet of Things has become a much buzzed about phrase in recent years. It refers to various devices, people, environments and processes being connected together via embedded sensors and cloud based software. The IoT is particularly relevant to Drainage as equipment is often in hard to reach places and the cost of failure can be high.  

As sensor technologies decrease in price along with the reduction in communication and data transmission costs, then we will see these technologies becoming more widely used. But what can they actually do in practise? 

Pump station controllers could be equipped with diagnostic monitoring to report back on the conditions of their pumps, provide real-time energy efficiency reading and alert when hydraulic performance falls

Sensors can monitor flow data and provide alerts when the rate of flow changes or alert when sludge tanks are becoming full. This leads to the potential for more proactive maintenance and reduces the risk (and cost) of equipment failure.

IoT sensors are also revolutionising site security. CCTV video-streams and motion sensors can be connected to a smartphone to improve the controls of a site. Recently, Windows even created an automated door that unlocks itself by using facial recognition software

2. Market networks

Market Networks is another technology which combines the benefits of social networks with a walled marketplace leading to improved communication and raising the profile of a particular industry or group of companies.  Through combining the Market Network model with a digitised job management platform, Okappy is enabling the Drainage sector to operate far more effectively than any traditional paperwork system or even existing workforce management software.

The nature of the Drainage industry, means that new jobs could be added at any time. Innovative job management software and market networks like Okappy enable Drainage contractors to stay on top of scheduling. Jobs can be logged on-the-go and in real-time across various devices. With Okappy you also have access to a secure digital archive of all jobs inputted on the system. The benefits are endless, but above all Okappy saves Drainage companies valuable time whilst reducing costs.

3. Mobile workforce and task tracking

It is now more crucial than ever to keep track of projects and employee workflows as office decentralisation and flexible working environments are on the rise. As demands for more flexible working agreements increase, more and more companies are offering the option of working remotely. By its very nature, the Drainage industry is characterised by remote working with engineers and subcontractors visiting different sites. However, If you don’t keep track of what your team are working on, operations can easily become chaotic. With Okappy’s location tracking features, you can see exactly where your employees are at any one time. 

These three tech trends are shaking up the way the Drainage Industry is operating. Market Networks, Mobile Working, IoT / Embedded Sensors can really increase business growth and improve your professional work environment. Keeping up to date with these tech trends is a step towards a more efficient and streamlined process for your Drainage team. 

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