Friday, January 14, 2011

Regeneration Performance Analysis

If you have ever run a softener, you know that the one of the main operational functions of that softener is in its regeneration. Without it going through this process correctly, an incomplete regeneration could cause improper ion exchange and allow hardness to show sooner that it's designed removal capacity.
Traditionally, WCTI service personnel or customer's operators would have to run a long manual elution study to try and ascertain what might be causing the softeners to run hard. We saw this as an opportunity and designed in a WCTI HES propriety solution.

At WCTI, with its propriety high efficiency softeners (HES), we have all but eliminated this concern. We have a real time remote monitoring application and alarming tool for the regeneration process. Our RPA (Regeneration Performance Analysis) has assured the customer that he/she is getting sustainable soft water make-up and it has helped our service professionals ensure continuous soft water supply.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Beware of the(this) consultant

Yes, I am a consultant. By definition, a consultant is an expert in his/her field and shows no bias when providing diverse opinions. So I say - "beware of the consultant"

Recently, I witnessed a presentation by a consultant at a water conservation seminar here in Seattle in which he clearly thought he was an expert. However, he showed his complete bias and subsequent ignorance of "THE" subject. I felt he knew traditional water treatment well. However, his presentation of non-traditional approaches to cooling water treatment was so weak, incomplete and biased that it made me ashamed to be classified as a fellow water treatment consultant.

For those old enough to remember Dragnet - "...nothing but the facts ma’am..." Well, it would have been a little more believable had we had the facts. For someone to get up in front of some very important customers and prospects and give anecdotal evidence, highlights my case ..."beware of the(this) consultant."

After summarily dismissing the concept of all non-chemical approaches to water treatment and repeatedly saying "...beware of this technology", he was asked by one particular provider of the pulsed power NCD market " many of these systems have you tested and actually seen fail?" His response after an awkward pause was "...I think about three to five?" However, after hearing what he had to say, you would think that all of these particular NCD's failed miserably - which is simply not the case. In the audience that day, there were a couple of end users of this product that apparently were there to give support of their facility with this particular NCD and I am sure were ready to throw tomatoes at this consultant.

He proceeded to also dismiss the silica based zero bleed WCTI technology. Being a provider of this technology and traditional chemical treatment, I, too, wanted to throw vegetables at this guy, But alas, I kept quiet. One of my questions should/would have been, "...have you ever seen any chemical programs fail?"

You see, this particular company makes their living going into unsuspecting end users and offering their "unbiased" consulting services for a substantial fee claiming they can make that end user's current supplier "toe the line". Trust me, if this were true, why didn’t the end user simply fire his current supplier and just hire them? After all, their fee/costs can be anywhere from 50-100% of the current supplier’s costs. Well, they are not set up to be a local supplier, you see they just become a "super middle man" providing big brother help with testing and their evaluation of these tests. Oh, that's right, I almost forgot, I should have asked "...have you ever had any failed evaluations?" You see, I have personally witnessed mistakes in their evaluations, and had we not seen their evaluation, the unsuspecting customer would have simply believed them - because they must be correct charging this kind of money - right?

After leaving a major chemical treatment provider, I actually had the opportunity to evaluate a number of non-chemical programs, by actually talking to their researchers and scientists - those that actually manufacture and market the products trying to get the facts. So, while I remain a supporter of one particular non- chemical technology, I have a healthy respect for many applications out there today. The consultant to which I refer here has never contacted me or the President of WCTI, so how can he make judgments to the degree he did without proper research?

Now had he been able to present each of these non-chemical programs as they are purely on the technical facts presented by those particular alternatives, I would have felt enlightened and made good use of my time that day. Unfortunately, this did not happen and surely those in attendance must have felt the same or blindly believed this consultant and went away none the wiser.