The North West’s water provider United Utilities has become the first water company in the UK to use state-of-the-art robots revolutionise its service to customers.

The north-west water company has invested in 10 robots from pioneering software producer Blue Prism and worked with partners Deloitte to monitor its network for faults that could disrupt supply at peak times.

The software robots monitor signals and alerts from the water network and automatically inform engineers to issues so that they can locate them and more efficiently fix them before they affect customers.

The pioneering system, called Robotic Process Automation (RPA), will also streamline many of the company’s process, enabling it to respond more efficiently to customers.

William Hewish, Chief Information Officer at United Utilities, said:

“Installing the software represented a significant investment in modernising UUs water and wastewater network, which would result in many benefits to its customers and is an important part of our digital strategy.

“Ofwat has talked about the water industry being an analogue industry operating in a digital world. We have listened to what they had to say and this is just one of the investments we are making in our strategy to become a digital company in a digital world

“We’re proud to become the first water company in the UK to introduce robots into our systems that can efficiently monitor our entire network at peak times, ensuring our customers benefit from the best possible service we can provide.

“The software will enable us to respond much more quickly to problems in the network which will reduce incidence of breaks in supply and other issues that cause inconvenience to our customers.

“There are a host of different things that we can use the robots for to help us to provide an even better service, which is great news for the seven million customers we serve”
RPA is a process where mundane, repetitive and boring tasks are undertaken by robots, freeing up people to work on more complicated jobs that keep the network running more efficiently.


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