News Releases 2018Meiden to conduct feasibility study with Hiroshima City and NJS on AI-based technology to efficiently automate sewage treatment
Meidensha Corporation (Meiden) will conduct a feasibility study jointly with Hiroshima City and NJS Co., Ltd. on artificial intelligence (AI)-based technology to efficiently automate operations at sewage treatment plants.
The study, proposed by Meiden, Hiroshima City and NJS, has been adopted as part of the fiscal 2018 Breakthrough by Dynamic Approach in Sewage High Technology (B-DASH) Project※1, which is sponsored by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. The feasibility study could be followed by a real-scale demonstration.
In the project, Meiden aims to use AI to automate judgment of treatment situation and corresponding methods during sewage treatment, thereby making sewage treatment operations more efficient. Meiden also wants to use the established technology to understand how experienced engineers behave and think during the course of operations to ensure their expertise is passed on to younger engineers. This is expected to help address the shortage of skilled engineers.
In this technology, AI would learn and make judgment of treatment situation by accumulating and analyzing data, including operation records, water quality analyses, images of sewage treatment and anomalies. AI then would present output (off-line) estimating set variables and how best to respond to the ongoing treatment situation.
The feasibly study will compare AI-generated estimates with actual operation records to adjust the AI algorithm and have it go through repeated learnings to improve its precision, while searching ways to enhance reliability and to introduce the technology for practical use.
In the future and with more data, the AI could possibly make judgment on anomalies that have never been noticed in conventional, human-based operations and identify the factors that cause abnormal situations, which could pave the way for novel operational methods.
Meiden aims to support the development of social infrastructure by building innovative sewage treatment technologies.
※1 Through the B-DASH Project, the national government has spearheaded efforts since 2011 to establish sewage technologies by building real-scale facilities and compiling relevant guidelines so innovative technologies can spread to municipalities nationwide that are facing sewage treatment problems. Feasibility studies on the effectiveness and potential for widespread use of technologies have been conducted since 2016 in anticipation of real-scale demonstrations.
General Affairs & Public Relations Division