Image by Jong Marshes

Smart Water Monitoring in the Cloud

Walchem Fluent

Services

  • Persona & Brand Development

  • UI/UX Design

  • Industrial IoT (IIOT)

  • AWS Cloud Development

  • AWS Timestream

About the client

Walchem, a subsidiary of Iwaki America Inc., is a leading manufacturer of online analytical instruments and electronic metering pumps located in Holliston, Massachusetts. By integrating controller, sensor, and pump technologies, Walchem creates innovative solutions for chemical control. Whether it is a cooling tower at a factory or a towns water supply, people trust Walchem to give them the best product.  Walchem wanted to extend that top of the line controller experience to a mobile responsive application that allows water treaters access to the critical information that they need to provide safe water.

The product: Fluent

Walchem provides high quality equipment for cooling tower, boiler, potable water, and wastewater applications. Now, with Fluent, users will have the ability to view a summary of their account status, access the past twenty-four hours of minimum, maximum and average values, receive alarm alerts, connect to devices for full view and reconfiguration as well as analysis, troubleshooting and adjustments, and seamlessly organize devices, all remotely

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The process

Stakeholder and Customer Discovery

The first part of our process was to find out what the market need was.  We are experts in technology, we needed to get up to speed on water treatment.  We spent 3 months getting Walchem, industry experts and Walchem to advise us on the importance of water treatment and the people and processes that go into making it safe.  The discoveries are what informed the initial scope of this project. 

Technical and User Experience Design

The team implemented the product using an agile methodology.  It is an iterative style that required a strong core team of Walchem and Bluefin employees.  The team would meet on a regular schedule to inform on the development work. The first engagement came in the form of a planning meeting, where everything, to the smallest detail, is discussed and talked through for what will get made over the coming week. The mock application in the design phase helps inform this discussion. Centered around a 2 week sprint cycle, requirements are gathered and the development team works to implement the scope of features identified. On regular cadence after each 2 week “sprint” the team meets again to demonstrate the newly created features. This allows for instant feedback and correction, that way fixes are made instantly and maybe more important, they don’t compound over the life of the project.  

Agile Systems

Once we started to understand the landscape of water treatment better, came the process of designing the product.  Business decisions needed to be made -- like what cloud platform to host the application on based on costs and scalability.  On the user experience side, the team made a mock design that allowed the site to be tweaked before implementation began. This method allowed the team to plan the project using an iterative process, while fitting into their budget and process requirements. 

Knowledge transfer

While Fluent is nearly finished, the project isn’t quite done.  In order to properly support the application, Walchem employees to be up to speed on the features and functionality (whether it is engineering, customer support, or sales).  The agile process allowed that to happen naturally. 

With the core team of both Walchem and Bluefin, both teams know exactly what the application can do.  That allowed Walchem to better educate those not directly involved in the day-to-day of the project.  The ability for Walchem employees to teach each other is a major benefit of our Development process.

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