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The challenges of telemetry in smart water networks in Latin America

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  • The challenges of telemetry in smart water networks in Latin America
  • LACROIX Sofrel, a company with more than 40 years of experience specialising in telemetry in water and energy networks, is facing the challenge of contributing its experience in Latin America. The market offers so many opportunities that we had to formalise strategic partnerships with local companies specialised in water networks.

About the entity

Lacroix Group
LACROIX Sofrel is an industry specialist in the design and construction of telemetry and SCADA products for technical installations. Our expertise enables us to provide water network or HVAC installation contract operators.
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Themes

For eight years now, we have had a network of partners across this extensive region, reinforcing our presence in several key countries, where our partners and our end clients offer endless possibilities to implement our solutions. And we are talking specifically about solutions, because our clients are demanding more and more a solution to the problems they face: low efficiency in the operation and maintenance of their facilities.

Mexico: Towards efficiency in macro-metering and telemetry systems

This is without a doubt one of our main markets in Latin America, where we currently have more than 1,500 devices operating, mainly in district metering involving pressure and flow monitoring. This trend has changed in the past year, and we find that our clients are looking to improve the physical efficiency of their networks through the use of macro-meters and telemetry devices connected to centralization systems.

In this area, we have the appropriate solution through our datalogger SOFREL LS-FLOW; this equipment has a modbus connection to the main battery-operated flow meters, and enables having more information and higher data precision at measuring points. In addition, its quick integration in multiple SCADA platforms facilitates optimising the maintenance processes of operators. Initially, already 8 years ago, and in collaboration with our partner, Ingeniería Integral del Agua SA de CV (IIASA), we focused on offering monitoring solutions for water networks. Currently we are implementing our automation solutions for water systems with stations and RTUs (SOFREL S500, SOFREL AS).

Something clients value is being able to access data from mobile devices and manage warnings through SOFREL Web LS

This is our core business, the soul of LACROIX Sofrel. We would not understand the water cycle without the control system that allowed us to grow in the water sector. Mexico is a large country, so in addition to our partner and main business associate, we work towards developing a network of integrators that allow us to reach all municipal water boards. This requires a greater effort with regards to the training, promotion and support of these collaborators, so our subsidiary in Spain has grown to tackle this challenge.

Chile: Waste water control. Sustainability and remote management

We cannot talk about Latin America and not talk about Chile. In a country where practically 100% of the water sector belongs to the private sector, we find a very mature market for the development of monitoring systems for smart drinking water networks. Waste water networks, although not regulated, have benefited from large investments to implement technology that allows network monitoring, either with battery-operated devices or telemetry remote stations.

Here we work with our partner BFS to develop our SOFREL LT/AS/S500 solutions. BFS Bermad Fluid Solutions is a Chilean company that has been in the market for more than 20 years.

Sanitation networks are gradually requiring permanent monitoring systems to control, anticipate, and act upon potential discharges, in order to prevent them from happening as much as possible, know the water flows and volumes circulating through the network, and thus design the network correctly.

In Chile we work with our partner Bermad Fluid Solutions to develop our SOFREL LT/AS/S500 solutions

Our range of SOFREL LT dataloggers, with SOFREL LT-US, represents clearly our monitoring choice in this type of water networks, to develop sustainable telemetry systems. Able to measure overflows in a valve chamber or a well, and to estimate circulating flow and volume through a level gauge, it allows the operator to monitor these points at all times. Something our clients value very much is being able to access data from mobile devices and manage warnings through the SOFREL Web LS platform.

Areas of great environmental value, such as Valparaíso, Viña del Mar or Puerto Montt are implementing this type of solutions, replicating, in a way, what our clients in Spain or France are doing, trusting the SOFREL LT range to quantify this type of events.

Peru: Smart network development grows

Peru is another country LACROIX Sofrel is focusing on in Latin America. The structure of the water market in the country, together with the presence of a partner that has experience as a system integrator in telemetry, allows us to introduce positively the SOFREL LX range of solutions in the country.

JS Industrial SAC has implemented large drinking water monitoring projects in Lima. Our objectives in the past year required huge efforts to promote telemetry solutions for water networks, as well as a considerable presence with the end client.

The availability of information about water services is essential for operators, since it allows them to make decisions

Whereas pumping stations, treatment plants, etc. are monitored with automated systems, this is not the case with the existing kilometres of water distribution networks. The results using our SOFREL LS dataloggers have been very successful, allowing progress in remote monitoring of water pressure, flow and level at different locations.

Having information about the water service in the distribution network is essential for operators: with it, they can make decisions and improve their services. Currently, it would be difficult to do without the information provided by our SOFREL LS dataloggers.

It is a very demanding market for LACROIX Sofrel, because even though the technology infrastructure is not very advanced, there is a wealth of experience with the use of hydraulic systems. Thus, we face a different challenge than elsewhere in Latin America: we have to show the benefits of technology and telemetry to large clients in the water sector.

At LACROIX Sofrel we are ready to tackle the challenges ahead, thanks to our experience in the sector, providing telemetry solutions to our clients across the world. Internationalisation is a priority for our company. And without a doubt, Latin America will be very significant for our business development.