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Automated water treatment saves resources

Process automation in water treatment: Centralised, distributed or decentralised? Discover more about the advantages and savings potential for your plants.

  • Wasserprozessautomatisierung-slider-2.jpg
  • Kommunikationsschnittstellen bei der Automatisierung im Wasserbereich

Treating drinking water: How to do it safely and efficiently

Water is valuable. Our consumption of water is rising worldwide while groundwater levels continue to decline. How can you treat water efficiently, productively and in a way that assures future viability? The water industry employs automated and digital concepts. At process level, Bürkert offers support through automated water treatment solutions.

The key objectives of water treatment:

  1. Reliable water quality
  2. Economical use of the water resources


Graphical illustration of a valve island with PLC, illustration of a factory


Treating water: More performance, less energy

Do you want to automate your water treatment process? Do you want to use intelligent control concepts and measurement methods to save energy? Discover how digitised input and output control can reduce your energy consumption significantly.

Your task:

When handling and treating drinking and process water, you remove unwanted suspended solids and bacteria from the water. Wanted substances – such as additives and dissolved elements – remain or are added.
Key sub-areas:

  • Media filtration
  • Diaphragm filtration
  • Ion exchanger

Your challenge:
Treating water productively to the highest possible quality – to do so, you need:

  • Future-proof processes
  • An integrated, lean design
  • High-performance and energy-saving components
  • Intelligent controls
Media filtration or ion exchanger or Diaphragm filtration
Valve island: Process automation with pneumatic actuator and control technology: Valve islands control the individual flaps, armatures and valves but sometimes also sensors.

Three concepts for the automated treatment of drinking water and process water

Be it process or drinking water: The requirements that apply to the construction and operation of water treatment plants are increasing. They can, however, be met when using the right technology. Automation can be achieved in three ways: Centralised, distributed or decentralised. Which is best for your plant? We present the advantages of the three concepts and help you find the best solution for your plant.


Centralised automation

“Everything at one location”: Achieve a clear overview of your water treatment plant with just one central electrical cabinet. It offers space for the PLC, power supply, AC actuators, I/O systems, valve islands and communication interfaces.

Grafische Darstellung einer zentralen Automatisierung mit Schaltschrank und Ventilen
Mode of operating:

The valve island enables you to control processes via a central network of multi-way pneumatic valves.

Advantages of centralised automation:

  • Saving engineering costs with a plug-and-play platform
  • Detecting faults at an early stage due to diagnostics functions on the device and at operating control level
  • Increasing the availability of your plant thanks to service-friendly diagnostics and maintenance  
  • Accelerating the start-up process due to simple manual override access
  • Easy expansion; since the electrical cabinet is located outside the process, space limitations are not a consideration.

Distributed automation

“Short distances”: Automation is distributed across the process.

Graphical illustration of a centralised automation solution with an electrical cabinet and valves

Mode of operating:

You control your water treatment plant with local compact electrical cabinets located in the individual sections.

Advantages of distributed automation:

  • Fast installation and reliable processes thanks to short distances and flexible, space-saving installation
  • Reduced consumption of compressed air and energy makes your system faster, more economical and more efficient
  • Simple monitoring and cleaning thanks to robust process units with a high concentration of valves
  • Transparent concept idea with small, standardised electrical cabinets or field modules
  • Fewer hoses, lines and cable trays thanks to close proximity to the treatment process

Decentralised automation

“Lean and fast switching”: The automation solution is located directly on site and does without electrical cabinets.

Graphical illustration of a decentralised automation solution with intelligent valve systems

Mode of operating:

Each process valve is controlled individually and supplied via its own intelligent control head. The process valves use LEDs to signal their switching status.

Advantages of decentralised automation:

  • Simple, on-site process monitoring eliminates troubleshooting and guarantees availability of the water treatment plant
  • Intelligent, fast-switching valve systems are particularly flexible, clearly arranged and reliable
  • Easier start-up, maintenance and expansion due to individual solutions
  • Proximity to the treatment process reduces the need for compressed air, energy, pneumatic hoses, lines and cable trays

From the sensor to the electrical cabinet: Precise automation of your water treatment process

Which type of automation is best suited to your application? Together we analyse your needs and provide help and advice with the concept idea. From the valve and sensor to the fully configured electrical cabinet, the Bürkert modular system contains everything you need for an all-round solution tailored to your specific needs.


Four reasons for automating your water treatment process

Intelligent communication with standardised interface

Automation should make your processes simpler and more efficient. And this starts with the communication: The fieldbus module Type ME43 functions as a standardised interface for the devices. It transfers the communication to common industry standards.
Good to know: The technology minimises planning and installation effort, material usage and the risk of errors.

Sensors monitor the added amount of liquids and chemicals, e.g. chlorine.
ME44 I/O moduleThe graphical programming f(x) of the ME44 I/O module makes it possible to adapt water treatment processes locally and individually – without tampering with the actual process control system.
The valve island switches the pneumatic process valves, signals switching statuses and carries out self-diagnosis activities.
Control valves add required liquids or chemicals to the water.
The configuration software “Bürkert Communicator” enables the configuration, diagnosis and parameterisation of EDIP devices and networks. Cyclical values can be identified easily and displayed graphically.
The ME43 gateway module transmits values to the superordinate control system (PLC).

Automated water treatment: Your savings potential

How much space and costs do you really save when treating water with a compact automation solution from Bürkert?

The calculation example compares installation of a valve island Type 8652 with AirLINE Quick to installation on a standard rail inside a stainless steel electrical cabinet:

                                              Installation on a standard rail             Installation with AirLINE Quick

Vergleich Montage auf Hutschiene gegenüber Montage mit AirLINE Quick, mit Beträgen von Maßen und Kosten

The savings potential: Valve islands with AirLINE Quick ensure fast, seamless installation and start-up. They are located directly on the wall or on the floor of the electrical cabinet – this helps to reduce the number of compressed air hoses and the cabinet volume. Your savings in figures: 27,720 cm³ of space and €354.49 in costs.


Do you want to automate your plants?  We will be more than happy to give advice on which Bürkert solution is most suitable for you.

Contact Sales

Fluid Control Centre
1 Bridge End
United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0) 1285 648 720
Fax: +44 (0) 1285 648 721

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