For the past three years, Xylem has internally recognized its leaders in innovation. The Excellence in Innovation awards recognizes employees who exemplify the spirit of innovative teamwork that is so vital to our continued growth and success. In addition to our award for best technology or product innovation for 2019, we also established a separate award category for best business model innovation. Both types of innovation are critical to our efforts to transform the future of water and critical infrastructure by helping make water more affordable and accessible, and communities more resilient and sustainable.
With climate change and water scarcity issues growing, there is an increasing need in India to irrigate land as efficiently as possible to conserve water and improve agricultural production. Our Smart Irrigation Team in India adopted a consultative selling approach to better understand the customer’s conservation needs – how to reliably, efficiently and intelligently provide water to 175,000 farmers and increase agricultural production across 5,150 square kilometers in the state of Madhya Pradesh. They will leverage resources and products across four Xylem business units, along with other technologies where doing so creates customer value, and a network of external partners to design and deliver smart irrigation infrastructure that is truly “first of its kind."
The traditional phosphate and ammonium analyzers used in water and wastewater applications rely on hazardous and costly reagents. A Xylem team in Germany fully redesigned the analyzer based on robust voice of customer feedback, and solved customer concerns about user safety, product sustainability and operating costs.
Key innovations of the new Alyza IQ Analyzer include drip-free connection technology that helps eliminate safety hazards associated with reagent spillage. The efficient design reduces both the amount of reagent required and liquid waste, creating a sustainable product with low operating costs.
Miniaturization of the system led to the development of a revolutionary small reagent pouch that is simple and easy to handle – an advance over the typical large canisters, which create safety risks for operators and require specialized training and storage. Finally, the analyzer’s compatibility with the IQ SensorNet platform gives customers the data they need to manage their operations.
The PipeDiver Ultra team did extensive research to develop a flexible, free- swimming, high-resolution assessment tool to inspect the condition of metallic water pipelines. Typically, inspecting a metal pipeline requires labor-intensive methods that are expensive, intrusive, and need civil works and dewatering – which also can be potentially dangerous operating environments.
The PipeDiver Ultra solves these challenges with three significant innovations. First, its novel ultrasonic transducer can measure a wide range of pipe wall thicknesses. Second, it’s very flexible and can navigate obstacles inside a pipe network like tees, bends and valves, while staying centered to ensure robust data. Finally, almost 100 transducers are squeezed into the PipeDiver Ultra’s body to detect defects down to ½ square inch.
In China, new government regulations transfer ownership of residential building water pumping systems from property owners and developers to municipalities. Our China Innovation Team saw this as an opportunity to address utility customers’ needs to replace old water pump houses with an efficient, secure, trouble-free and unmanned pump station.
In only a few months, and armed with a deep understanding of their customers’ needs, the team designed and built a turnkey Intelligent Pump House solution. It offers products and technology from across Xylem, including energy-efficient integrated pump boosters, water quality monitoring, disinfection and a security camera system, all in a modern and attractive package. The Intelligent Pump House comes in three versions to meet a variety of building needs and ensures clean, safe water for the last mile of water infrastructure.