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Printer Friendly VersionSelected Information - Proposed Research

CP417  CBA of short life assets - instrumentation Instrumentation
Project Appreciation and Objectives

Instrumentation generally resides firmly within the Water Utility Operations function, however businesses are finding much wider uses/needs for the data, such as asset performance monitoring and regulatory reporting. The current AMP period is likely to see an expansion in the use of instrumentation, as increased automation and better information has the potential to assist companies in increased efficiency and improvement of service.

The cost of instrumentation ownership can appear to be high and investment demands justification with clear business benefits. Companies already use Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) tools for strategic decision making but these tool are not typically designed for analysis of short life assets such as instrumentation. This project will develop a CBA tool for instrumentation to establish costs and benefits.

This project will establish and quantify costs and benefits of agreed instrument applications; direct costs savings as well as less tangible benefits will be included. Proven CBA approaches will be used to asses data to be collected and collated from instrument suppliers, contractors, water companies/utilities and from recent industry research. A user friendly tool will be produced which provides a pool of data and the flexibility to add additional company or site specific values where required.

Benefits to Clients

  • Cost saving through investment in instrumentation only where there is a true benefit, including consideration of the wider benefits of instrumentation which are not easily quantified in monetary terms
  • Improved framework agreements with the supply chain through critical evaluation against business needs and benefits
  • Benefits to the wider business through appropriate investment in new instrument based technology/approaches

Work Programme

  1. Hold a meeting to identify the end-users and to agree the scope and specification of the CBA tool.
  2. Gather data on instrumentation costs and benefits.
  3. Produce a CBA tool for the selected applications.
  4. Produce guidance document for the CBA tool.
  5. Hold project dissemination workshop.

Project Output

  • CBA tool specifically designed to asses the value of investment in the procurement and capital maintenance of instrumentation.
  • Guidance documentation detailing the data sources used in the CBA tool and the intended use of the tool within water companies.
  • A dissemination seminar.

Related WRc Work

  • Acceptability of drinking water to customers - Development of a Cost Benefit Analysis Model. UKWIR WW13, 2008.
  • Various UK Water companies - CBA models for PR09 investment justification, 2008 - 2009.
  • UKWIR Evaluating process based control as a management and regulatory tool for the water sector, UKWIR, WW21, 2009.
  • WRc Instrument User Group, 2009 - ongoing
WRc's Portfolio Programme
Summary of the £1.5 million per annum research programme

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