Xylem Water Solutions India Private Limited, an arm of leading water technology company Xylem, has its technology centre and manufacturing facility in Vadodara and sales offices in Bangalore, Noida, Gurugram and Mumbai, with a total number of employees in India exceeding 700. Xylem’s technologies help to reduce color, COD and TSS in ETP (Effluent Treatment Plant), meet the strictest environmental discharge norms, and offer solutions in the production process like ozone bleaching. In a recent interaction with Paper Mart, Mr. Alexis Métais, Pulp & Paper Key Account Manager, Xylem Inc., spoke on Xylem’s concept and purpose, challenges of water and energy needs, Xylem’s collaboration with paper mills to address the challenges, their digital solutions suite Xylem Vue, among other topics.
Paper Mart: Please tell us about the concept and the purpose for which Xylem has been formed.
Alexis Métais: Xylem (XYL) is a Fortune 1000 leading water & wastewater technology company formed in 2011, as the spin-off of the water related businesses of ITT. Our name by itself tells a lot about our concept and purpose: “xylem” is the plant tissue that conducts water and mineral salts from the roots to all other parts of the plant, provides mechanical support, and forms the wood of trees and shrubs. Our name means we are committed to “solving water” by creating innovative and smart technology solutions to the world’s water and critical infrastructure needs. Our solutions have wide application throughout the cycle of water. Our treatment solutions, products and services move, treat, recycle, analyze, monitor and return or reuse water to the environment, in public utility, industrial, residential and commercial building services. The company also provides a leading portfolio of smart metering, network technologies and advanced analytics solutions for water, electric and gas utilities. Our products and solutions comprise market leading brands that have a legacy of over 100 years, supported by a solid total care service portfolio. Here in India, Xylem Water Solutions India Private Limited, established in 2011, has its technology centre and manufacturing facility in Vadodara and sales offices in Bangalore, Noida, Gurugram and Mumbai. The total number of employees in India exceeds 700.
PM: What is the mission and vision of Xylem?
AM: Xylem is a global water technology provider with one mission: to help our customers solve water. Our vision is simple. We devote our technology, time and talent to advance the smarter use of water. We look to a future where global water issues do not exist.
PM: What are the challenges related to water and energy needs, which the pulp & paper industry is facing in the current times?
AM: The pulp and paper industry has been facing, and successfully I must say, technical, technological, economic and environmental challenges that shall be addressed all at once. It comes from the fact that every industrial site looks at increasing production for increasing profitability, while if simply operating the same way as before, any production increase means a higher concentration of pollution at a single location. The solution is to develop more efficient production and treatment processes. It means processes with lower water and energy demand and with lower solid, liquid & gas emissions.
PM: How is Xylem teaming with pulp and paper mills to address these water challenges and shape the future of water?
AM: Xylem is a leading water technology provider supporting pulp and paper mills with pumping, treatment and metering solutions for both intake water and effluent. It is our core business where we offer a very large portfolio of solutions and extensive expertise based on experience. Together with our partners, we can develop the best fitting solutions with lab and pilot trials for the most complex situations. Our technologies help to reduce color, TSS and COD in ETP (Effluent Treatment Plant) and meet the strictest environmental discharge norms. In the pulp and paper industry, we also offer solutions in the production process allowing us to take up the mentioned challenges. Ozone bleaching helps reduce production costs, improving pulp quality and reducing effluent load and volume. Ozone is also used to treat NOx in the flue gas and replace biocide in treatment of cooling water. Our UV (ultraviolet) systems are also widely used in paper mills to treat white water and reduce biocide costs and environmental impact. If our solutions are mainly implemented to treat water today, we aim at shaping a future where water would be recycled in a closed loop for zero-discharge mills.
“Our most advanced technologies, especially ozone, UV and Xylem Vue can be implemented from raw influent to clean effluent, and everything in between, to reduce costs, better protect the environment and turn water management from an expense to a strategic advantage”
PM: Throw light on the ‘Xylem Vue’ and tell us about how it supports the paper industry’s digital journey.
AM: Xylem Vue is our full suite of digital solutions that combines smart and connected technologies, intelligent systems and services, and 100+ years of problem-solving expertise, empowering utilities to deliver transformative outcomes to their communities. Paper and pulp utilities, like any other industrial utility, are facing severe and capital-intensive difficulties and must adapt how they manage water. Xylem Vue possesses a unique set of capabilities to help optimize water and wastewater infrastructure and achieve better results, making systems more efficient, extending the life of current investments, and confidently planning for the future. We can offer the equipment and control logic for some of the most crucial components of water and wastewater utility operations, such as pump stations, treatment facilities, and more. We have a capability of managing water balance of entire pulp and paper mills with all the necessary dashboards for key operational areas enabling the users to measure, monitor and optimize the precious water resource.
PM: Brief us about the advanced technologies, application expertise and smart sustainable solutions that you are offering to the pulp & paper industry.
AM: Our most advanced technologies, especially ozone, UV and Xylem Vue can be implemented from raw influent to clean effluent, and everything in between, to reduce costs, better protect the environment and turn water management from an expense to a strategic advantage. Ozone allows for bleaching pulp at low costs while reducing the bleach plant effluent volume and load. In the effluent treatment plant, ozone is used for discoloring effluent and reducing the hard COD load. Our UV technologies are a well-proven solution to treat white water on the paper machine and limit chemicals’ costs.
PM: How do you help the pulp and paper industry to minimize energy needs and reduce carbon footprint?
AM: In fact, energy converts to costs and carbon footprint, so minimizing energy needs most of the time brings economic savings and carbon footprint reduction. Our solutions do not need any transport, usage and storage of chemicals. They just need electricity. Recently we found the use of ozone bleaching allows for reducing overall electricity demand for production of bleaching chemicals by 7%. It means in India saving almost 40 kg of carbon emission per ton of pulp when compared to traditional pulp bleaching with chlorine dioxide. It is a very significant value.
PM: Who are your major clients in the pulp and paper industry in India and globally?
AM: Our major client in India is ITC Bhadrachalam PSPD. It’s already been a long and fruitful 15 years partnership together. We have also provided our metering technology solutions to some of the leading Indian paper mills. We work globally and have supplied installations in some of the most famous pulp and paper companies such as Suzano, UPM, Sappi, Lenzing, Mondi, Nippon Paper, Oji Paper, etc. from Chile and Brazil to the USA, from Portugal to Japan.
“We work globally and have supplied installations in some of the most famous pulp and paper companies such as Suzano, UPM, Sappi, Lenzing, Mondi, Nippon Paper, Oji Paper, etc. from Chile and Brazil to the USA, from Portugal to Japan.”
PM: Tell us about your manufacturing locations and service network channels in India.
AM: Xylem manufacturing facility in India is located in Vadodara and caters to India and neighboring countries by offering solutions for water and wastewater transport, treatment, testing, and assessment services to commercial buildings, industries, municipalities, etc. This facility is spread over an area of 21,479 sq m and is an IGBC-LEED Gold-rated facility. Pumps for buildings and industries, large customized pumps, and open-channel UV disinfection systems are manufactured and assembled in this plant.
Xylem India has over 100 channel partners and more than 40 authorized service partners. Xylem has an in-house team of experts, project managers, and service and maintenance engineers that are trained on the know-how of products and services. They ensure smooth implementation, execution, and after-sales serviceability of projects. Our robust customer support process helps address after-sales and customer complaints in a shorter period of time.
PM: How do you foresee the future of the paper industry evolving?
AM: I foresee a positive evolution of the pulp & paper industry in view of gradual increase in per capita demand. This growth will also stimulate more usage of waste paper recycling demanding more advanced technological solutions in process, water & wastewater areas. Total sustainability approach is rapidly becoming the need of the hour and the pulp and paper industry is continuously and successfully working to meet their sustainability goals. We can be proud of our industry and confident of its future.