An analytical index for evaluating manufacturing cost and performance of low-pressure hollow fibre membrane systems
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Water and waste-water treatment through the use of the membrane filtration technology is one of the processes utilized currently to meet the growing demand for water. While new technologies can harness water from various non-traditional sources such as oceans, there remains the possibility of making drinking water more expensive through the use of costly water treatment equipment. To prevent this and ensuing catastrophes in the world, the water industry needs a strategy that keeps the price of water and price of products aiding the treatment of water controlled in to the future. This paper firstly presents the need for the industry to focus on controlling the price of water. Secondly, since the paper focuses on low pressure hollow fibre membranes, the processes used for the manufacture of Memcorembrane modules, from material preparation to packaging and testing are explained. Thereafter, through referencing the Memcor membrane module manufacturing process, an analytical model to determine the membrane module cost and membrane performance is presented. The model leads to the presentation of the Water Price Index (WPI) which is an index that evaluates the membrane module price against its design flux, expected life and efficiency. By targeting a low WPI, the water industry can control the price of water and water treatment equipment. Analysis indicates that membrane design flux and expected life are the key drivers in keeping a low WPI. The paper concludes after presenting results of a factorial study and recommending further research subjects.
Control Systems, Robotics and Automation