• ABB acquires optical sensor provider to expand their smart water management portfolio
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Business News

ABB acquires optical sensor provider to expand their smart water management portfolio

Jan 09 2024

ABB has agreed terms to acquire Real Tech, a highly reputable Canadian supplier of sophisticated optical sensor technology that facilitates real-time water monitoring and testing. Real Tech employs approximately 40 members of staff and is based in Whitby, near the shore of Lake Ontario. The acquisition will enable ABB to expand its already considerable presence in the water sector and augment its product range with optical technology which is a crucial part of smart water management.

Conventional water quality measurement can be a time-consuming process; however, Real Tech’s technology supplies real-time, critical measurements, thereby enabling improved process control and continuous water quality. Real Tech offers patented solutions that cater to the entire digital water value chain for water quality monitoring with an emphasis on data creation and analytics.

This latest acquisition will expand the ABB range to include optical sensors, controllers, and a selection of accessories that enable every system to be configured according to the criteria of the customer. These sensors measure water composition using the power of light. Their use of spectrophotometry and fluorescence technology transfers testing from the laboratory to the process environment for reliable and precise real-time monitoring. Real Tech’s proprietary AI software platform, Liquid AI®, completes its service offering, providing operators with an easy and precise way to analyse data from the sensors.

Jacques Mulbert, Division President, ABB Measurement & Analytics commented, “We are excited to welcome all our new colleagues to the ABB family. We look forward to jointly driving the innovation and growth journey of Real Tech. Joining forces with ABB will accelerate the deployment of Real Tech's technologies through the vast ABB global sales and service network, making a step change in access to the market.”

“When we founded Real Tech almost 20 years ago, we were set on developing optical sensor technology that would advance the management of water into a new era,” said Jodi Glover, CEO and co-founder of Real Tech. “Our real-time water quality monitoring sensors and data analytics capabilities are empowering our clients, both utilities and industries that manage water in their operation and manufacturing processes, with the critical insights they need every minute, every day.”

According to the United Nations, there are 2.2 billion people lacking access to safely managed drinking water, and more than 4.2 billion people with no access to safely managed sanitation. A mere 11% of treated wastewater is reused and around 50% of untreated wastewater still enters rivers, lakes, and seas globally. The latest advancements in sensor technology and AI can contribute significantly to efficient water and wastewater management worldwide. Expenditure on water quality monitoring, treatment, and water infrastructure has increased considerably. In the USA, a record $111 billion is being spent to improve water infrastructure over the next decade.

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