The importance of pilot plants

Pilot plants aren’t often thought of as pivotal in driving technology, but they provide the perfect environment for researchers and developers to test products under critical conditions. Pilot plants also empower growth by providing an arena for sales teams to display product feasibility and efficiency to customers, using real-life scenarios. It isn’t uncommon to find that manufacturers, Universities, and municipal or industrial end-users all collaborate in pilot projects because of its many uses.

Avoidable Obstacles


Direct access to reliable operational data can be a significant challenge for all parties throughout a pilot project, and unfortunately, pilot and trial success depends on that accessibility. The project run by MICRODYN-NADIR and the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences provides a perfect example of this challenge. Currently, they are operating a pilot plant with the BIO-CEL® Activated Carbon Process at a wastewater treatment plant in Germany.

Due to the considerable spatial distance, continuous plant monitoring was impossible without the significant support of the sewage personnel. Data had to be regularly exported through the onsite PLC control panel to a USB stick and manually analyzed in Excel. The results weren’t shared with the project participants until days later, in an email.

This approach was not only labor-intensive, but it also led to data loss risks and delayed detection of process issues, such as changed operation conditions, system downtime, and increased membrane fouling.


Installing STREAMETRIC was a game-changer for this project’s success. Participants used our digital features to monitor the pilot plant’s operating parameters online securely. STREAMETRIC was directly responsible for removing the need for frequent onsite visits by University personnel and the help by the sewage plant personnel, which provided much-needed flexibility and aided overall cost reduction.

The STREAMETRIC advantage doesn’t stop at tactfulness and cost savings; our technology simplifies the optimization of the membrane’s cleaning strategy. Each cleanings’ effect is tracked and evaluated in real-time, leading to improved working hours while increasing reliability. Since trusting STREAMETRIC with its pilot project, the team hasn’t experienced any system failures.

Please don’t take it from us; see what Maximilian Werner, the R&D Lead for the BIO-CEL® Activated Carbon Process at MICRODYN-NADIR, has to say about STREAMETRIC. “The simplicity of combining data from different parameters, monitoring different historical time frames, and tracking membrane cleanings has changed the way we look at data. Previously, we had to wait for the raw data to be exported and analyzed. Now, we see the impact of our operation related decisions on all parameters in real-time. STREAMETRIC allows us to make quick decisions and is an enormous increase in flexibility.


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