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Mr. Lance Dofflemyer with MR Systems Talks About The Importance of Unifying Water Data
29th April 2021 • The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie • The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie
00:00:00 00:28:51

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In this week's Industrial Talk Podcast we're talking to Lance Dofflemyer, Chief Data Scientist at MR Systems, Inc. about "The Power of Data and Unification of your Water Data Assets". Get the answers to your "Water Data Solution" questions along with Lance's unique insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview!

You can find out more about Lance and the wonderful team at MR Systems, Inc. on the Power of Data and Unifying you Water Assets by the links below. Finally, get your exclusive free access to the Industrial Academy and a series on “Why You Need To Podcast” for Greater Success in 2020. All links designed for keeping you current in this rapidly changing Industrial Market. Learn! Grow! Enjoy!


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Lance Dofflemyer Interview

Thu, 4/29 10:10AM • 28:52


data, facilities, people, water, systems, lance, talk, important, process, utilities, plant, beverly, industry, insights, industrial, NOEM, ml, Rider, MR Systems


Welcome to the Industrial Talk podcast with Scott MacKenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's go. Alright, welcome to the Industrial Talk podcast where we celebrate you industry heroes. That's right, because you are bold. I hear it all the time. You are brave. We talk about it all the time, you are just Daring Greatly each and every day, we are living through a great time and you're changing lives and you're changing the community as we speak, all around the world. take that to the bank, we are living through incredible times. It's exciting. And you know who's leading the way you you industrial professional, alright, in a hot seat in a hot seat, Lance Dofflemyer. He is the chief data scientist at Mr. systems. Now, Mr. systems, they are incredible when it comes to water. But you know, we were talking about data because there's gold in that data, the data that makes the product better, safer, asset runs more, let's get cracking data.


It's like we


just like your mining data that just makes everything better. And that's what Lance is all about. I mean, it's just an incredible that we take it for granted that water just comes out of our tap. And water is very important to our life. Absolutely, Doggone it, but it's more the fact that we just take it for granted that it's going to be safe. And that it's gonna I like it. I drink a lot of it. I got a lot in front of me. But before we get in that interview, okay. You know, I always talk about being bold, being brave, daring greatly. Those are not platitudes. Those are not just something that I just sort of, sort of, you know, stirred up and said, it was a great words, no. industry is all about bold, thinking bold, being bold, visions that are bold, that are brave, that are just like, okay, we're going to do it. Why not? Why not? and answer that question. And then Daring Greatly put it out there. Just, we're going to do it. We're gonna take action now bold, brave and daring greatly. And always talk about, hey, hang out with people who are bold and brave and daring greatly, and you're gonna just absolutely move mountains change, VA world. So you might have noticed a couple of times. She's been on the podcast a couple of times. Her name is Beverly Rider.


Beverly Rider is an inspiration. We got to our stack, our LinkedIn Beverly Rider. Yeah, just plug in Beverly Rider. And she looks at the world in a very unique way. She wants to change it. She is doing that. Right this very moment. She is an inspiration now. I met her as the Chief Commercial Officer at Hitachi America. And at that time, we had a great conversation and we were talking a lot about stuff. Find it out there on you will be inspired. And then she said, I'm going, I'm going to an organization called Neom. So you're going to get on your Google and you're going to type in Neom, and oh, you're going to say Saudi Arabia, and then euro are going to be dazzled by what is taking place at Neom. She has accepted a position as executive director with that organization. But


But talk about bold, brave and daring greatly. That's what Neom is all about. That's what she is doing her team, everybody in Neom. That's what they're doing. They're taking all of this great innovation that exists out there today, which it does. And they're applying it to a community, the community of the future. And I got this thing that's quoted from me, it preserves 95% of the name of nature within Neom, which is over in Saudi Arabia and its community of the future with zero cars, zero, straights, zero carbon emissions, bold, brave, daring, greatly, making it happen. How about that? You need to reach out you need to just go to that website, and you will be absolutely stunned. I remember. And I remember why my there's a lot more out there. So I'm not I'm not going too deep into it because you got to go out to that website. And I remember looking it up. And finally I said and I and at that point in time, I contacted a couple of people I said you've got to check this thing out. You've got to see what's going on there. It is spectacular. This is exactly right there. what the future looks like.


It's exciting. Beverly Rider boom.


Kudos, thank you for changing the world. That's what she's all about. All right, I want a paper, right? And pencil,


we got an A, we've got an event that I want you to at least consider going to. It's the digital summit brought to you by IoT solutions World Congress, I am running a side event when I say I am.


I have people that know what we're going to be talking about. And I just sort of sit there like eye candy and ask them questions. But I do have a utility background. And so we're going to be talking a little bit about the electric utility, right? The electric utilities, digital transformation journey.


And what makes this an interesting conversation, when you start talking about the utilities, we take that for granted, lights go on, everything works just fine. But when we start talking about bringing on alternative generation, which we've been doing for some time, but now it's really gaining a lot of traction, that puts a lot of stress on utilities. What do they do?


For me personally, it's a digital. It's an innovative solution. We're working with Intel, and a gentleman. His name is Mike Bates with Intel, and Phil carry. And he's got his consulting he, he was with Southern California Edison. And we're just, I mean, we're talking about this digital transformation, being applied to utilities, because because a Beverly Rider is is an inspiration to us. And those people that know him are an inspiration. We're going to transform doggone utilities. And that is what's going to be and it's may 11. To the 12th. You got joint sorry for the long intro. I just had to shout out to Beverly Rider and and this particular digital summit side. There's gonna be more it'll be out there on Industrial Talk. It's, it's exciting. As you can tell, I'm going to geek out on it big time. All right, let's get on with Lance.


You know, cool stuff. We live in a really exciting time, because of Lance, because of Beverly, because of Mike Bates, and Phil Carey all of these individuals that are saying, why not? Why not? Let's change the world. Why not? All right. Enjoy the conversation with Lance. Lance. Welcome to the Industrial Talk podcast, absolute honor that you have joined, and you're going to be sharing your insights and wisdom into water with the listeners of the Industrial Talk podcast. How are you doing? That? Scott? How are you? Thanks for having me. Well, it's a pleasure, because I love this topic. So for the listeners out there, let's get right to it. Give us a little 411 on who Lance is. Sure. I'm Lance dolphin, Meyer with Mr. systems. And we are a water and wastewater Integrator for the southeast United States. And all we do is water southeast, just southeast. Can you go northeast? Can you go? Northwest? As you see, I'm doing my little


thing I'm getting Can you go anywhere? We can go anywhere? Yep. I like that. I like that. All right. So what what are we talking about when we start talking about integration? What does that mean?


That's a good question. So we're in the field of process controls. And to kind of break down that that term, it doesn't really matter what manufacturing facility we're talking about. It could be a pulp and paper mill, you got trays on one side, and you got paper on the other. If you go to a you know, a cookie plant, you've got raw ingredients on one side, and you got cookies on the other world water, we have a lake on one side, and we have clean drinking water on the other. everything that goes on in between that is the process. Now, humans are really bad at, you know, controlling complex processes on their own. We're not very good at sub second decisions and staying awake 24 seven, so


I try. I try it doesn't work.


So we design industrial control systems to control those processes that manufacture whatever we want. And that's where the term process controls comes from. So what is the problem we're trying to solve here? what's what's that problem statement that we're trying to solve? Sure. So one of the issues that's come up in the water industry is really a siloed approach to water. And what I mean by that is that water utilities have historically evolved in an isolated manner. And to kind of give a background of the lifecycle of water, we have a lake on one side, and we pull water from that lake, we treat it, we send it out to a distribution system, which can range from a couple of sites to hundreds of sites that just manage moving water around the people. People businesses use that water and it goes to a collection system, and there can be a few to hundreds or even 1000s


Have collection systems, then that water is collected and sent to a wastewater plant where it's cleaned and put back into the river or lakes and the cycle repeats. So the nature of the water industry has largely evolved in a siloed fashion where each one of these facilities kind of operates on their own. And the challenge for water utilities is how do I know comprehensively what's going on in my entire watershed? Because I have all these data sources and mixed solutions that make up my water system.


So what we've been doing with utilities is, I'm gonna stop you real quick. Sure. So listeners, the process looks like this. And correct me if I'm wrong, lakes and rivers, that's where our water source, that's where our watershed where we're getting our water from there, we process it, we put it into the drinking cat category. And then there is at the other end of that drinking category or process is the collection, and then you put it back into the rivers and lakes. And then the process continues to go around and around and around. Got it, right, yep. Good.


So we've been working with utilities to really bring all these data sources into one application,


anything from a single application where they can navigate particular screens or dashboards or insights, so they can see what's going on at any facility at any given time.


And, more importantly, we've been standardizing these data sets so that they can be used for advanced analytics and data science and ml and things like that.


Why is that important?


It's important for a number of reasons. So anomaly detection is one of them.


If we can, you know, evaluate sometimes, you know, in some of our applications, there's, there's millions of data points coming in in real time,


it's quite difficult for a human to review that data in real time and make a decision off of it. And so, you know, anomaly detection is is pretty key on that.


By aggregating the data into one single pipeline, we can also introduce new KPIs or important pieces of information that are applicable to that municipality, you know, information that they would like to have had and know it's beneficial, but just had no way of getting it.


I have to, I have to ask what that example would be, I'm taking it for granted, I go to my sink, I pulled that water, it's all good. And and whatever is happening today, I'm okay. What what additional information can they glean, that makes it even better, I that's an interesting challenge that I share. So someone examples working with recently, as we had a large wastewater plant that


they, you know, they'll process, you know, anywhere from 40 to 60 million gallons a day. And they get sent a lot of water from a number of different sources.


Those sources are in other remote geographical locations. And I know the flow that they're sending, and I know the flow that the plant is receiving.


But what we what we don't know is if any flow is getting lost along the way, so by connecting all these facilities, I can ensure that the the flow that we're sending that facility is actually getting there. Or we can start to detect that, hey, maybe you have a pipe that's broken, or you have some loss along the way, I mean, just very simple. It doesn't have to be this complex, you know, ml algorithm, it could just be, you know, basic subtraction, that that can provide insights that they previously didn't. So I'm certainly 10 here, I want 10 at the other end, but if I'm sending 10 here, and I get nine here, that that's a flag that says, hey, we're losing something. And and it's important to be able to retain as much, you know, water as we possibly can. That's an important component to the whole process. Absolutely. So


let's talk a little bit about I hear what you're saying I have these siloed type of assets that I'm dealing with today, I get data from this one a data from this one, I've got multiple systems that I leverage. But I do I want to bring it under one umbrella, just want to bring it under? Where do we start? What are the actionable points? Where do we start? Yeah, I would start with the vision of what you're looking for. And the reason I bring this up,


it just kind of gives you a target and you can kind of start to make it more concrete from there. But now I would kind of ignore the the budgetary and resource constraints and really just start with what as a municipality do we want to see how do we want to connect our facilities and what type of information


and the reason that's important is because we can do quite a bit with quite a little with today's technology.


solutions are becoming much more cost effective and even even, you know, free or little to no cost.


So, you know, we start with


division, we'll go with them and say, you know, do you want to see all your facilities in one app? Do you want to control from a central location? I have to interrupt real quick, what's the pain I'm dealing with right now to push to, to push me forward to talk to labs? Like, I'm a municipal water? What What am I sitting here? I'm going, dang, we got to get a handle on this. What's that pain I'm dealing with right now. To talk to you.


Why do I want to talk to you?


Yeah, so I mean,


there is a huge need to understand what's going on at all the facilities in real time, because,


you know, we go in and work with a lot of these facilities, great people, great resources,


but they operate independently. In, that's just kind of the lifecycle of a water and wastewater plant. You know, as, as the population grows, these...



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