Siemens Presents Vision for Achieving Breakthrough Performance at ARC India Forum
Keywords: Integrated Engineering, Integration, Operational Excellence, Plant Asset Management (PAM), Predictive Maintenance, Remote Monitoring.
ARC Advisory Group's recent forum held in Hyderabad, India provided global sponsor, Siemens, with a platform to showcase the company's expertise through presentations and case studies.
Consistent with the theme of the Forum, Siemens' presentations focused on the pressing need for manufacturers and other industrial organizations to achieve breakthrough performance through innovative processes and new technologies that can help users adapt better to market dynamics. Company representatives discussed several key points and challenges. These included general market requirements; the benefits of integrated product design/plant engineering design/process control; benefits of the main automation vendor/main electrical vendor model; approaches to energy optimization; plus the benefits of integrated automation architecture, plant asset management, advanced process control, and remote support.
Some key takeaways from the presentations include:
Integrated product and production engineering with shared data model can help improve productivity and competitiveness
Remote service support helps ensure 24x7 availability of experts and specialists globally
Predictive and proactive maintenance strategies will prove to be cost-effective in the long run
Object-oriented integrated data model can help reduce engineering time and effort and increase system flexibility
Increased Productivity through Integrated Engineering
Presently, industries in India and elsewhere face numerous challenges due to the economy, a slowdown in industrial output, and other factors beyond their control. To meet these challenges, companies are constantly looking for new approaches to help compress project schedules, improve operations, reduce energy consumption, accelerate product introductions, increase production flexibility, and improve product quality.
In his keynote presentation, Sascha Maennl, Head of VSS, Process Automation, South Asia, at Siemens explained how the company helps industrial organizations address these and other challenges.
Mr. Maennl focused on how manufacturing companies can improve competitiveness and reduce time-to-market through an integrated product design/plant engineering/process control approach based on digital plant principles. He presented examples of how integrated product design, plant engineering, and process control tools provide a consistent information flow from the product design right through to production and the associated time savings to reduce costs significantly and compress time schedules. In one particular example, the overall project schedule was reduced by 12.5 percent; planning, engineering, installation and commission man weeks reduced by 10 percent; and automation man weeks reduced by 60 percent.
As we've written about in previous reports about the digital plant, ARC believes that there's a major trend across all industries towards integrating product design, production engineering, production management, and process control via a shared data model to help improve productivity and competitiveness.
Importance of Remote Support and Plant Asset Management
The joint presentation by Sanjay Kumar Tripathi, Deputy General Manager at an engineering firm, Projects and Development India (PDIL) and K.M. Sundaram, Head of Chemical Vertical, Process Automation at Siemens focused on two critical aspects of operational excellence: remote support services and plant asset management (PAM) for non-intelligent plant components.
Remote Support Services
The value proposition for remote support services increases as companies continue to lose their in-house experts through layoffs, retirements, and attrition. This means that the appropriate expertise is often not available at the plant site, or possibly anywhere within the organization. In these cases, remote support services provided by the process licensor, automation technology supplier, or third-party consultant could help monitor plant equipment, applications, and/or processes.
According to Mr. Tripathi, the major benefits of periodic expert remote monitoring includes improved process availability and maintenance efficiency and optimizing processes based on changing conditions. He explained how PDIL benefits from Siemens' remote support service offerings by helping the company bridge the expertise gap.
K. M. Sundaram elaborated on Siemens' capabilities in delivering remote support services. According to Mr. Sundaram, for remote support services to be effective the service supplier must address issues of frequency of monitoring, authorization, adequate expertise, and security.
According to Mr. Sundaram, Siemens employs a modular concept designed to provide a secure performance platform for remote access. Siemens' Common Remote Service Platform (cRSP) enables central monitoring, logging, and reporting, and provides a collaborative customer portal. Using this platform, Siemens' experts located around the world can periodically monitor what's going on in customer plants to help them improve process availability by predicting future problems through equipment profiling, modify control strategies to help compensate for aging processes and equipment, and perform remote online monitoring and diagnostics.
PAM for Non-Intelligent Components
ARC has observed that there's an increasing trend for companies in India and elsewhere to adopt advanced plant asset management (PAM) solutions. These companies are looking to improve equipment availability, decrease unscheduled downtime, improve maintenance productivity, and ultimately reduce costs through predictive maintenance strategies. According to Mr. Tripathi of PDIL, "Predictive and proactive maintenance will always be cheaper in the long run."
He noted that companies typically employ predictive maintenance strategies for bigger equipment such as gas turbines, compressors, and heat exchangers and, increasingly, for smaller, non-intelligent equipment, such as motors and pumps. He explained how it's possible to perform predictive maintenance on smaller pumps and other non-intelligent equipment by adding sensors, such as wireless temperature sensors and acoustic ultrasonic sensors and associated transmitters.
Mr. Sundaram elaborated on the benefits of implementing preventive (rather than corrective) plant asset management strategies. Corrective maintenance is performed after a fault has occurred; condition-based preventive maintenance, in contrast, allows maintenance staffs to complete appropriate maintenance measures before faults occur, preventing costly unplanned downtime and repairs. He provided specific examples of preventive maintenance for a variety of non-intelligent equipment, including simple level switches, centrifugal pumps, and heat exchangers.
Operational Excellence through Integrated Data Management
Today's industrial companies strive to achieve operational excellence, but to do so, must manage and determine how to obtain maximum value from ever-increasing volumes of data and information.
In his presentation Stefan Domdey, Head of CIS India at Siemens Industry Solutions' (India), suggested that one way for manufacturers to achieve operational excellence and reduce lifecycle costs would be to move from the current model in which there is a disconnect between the design and build (CAPEX) stage of a plant's lifecycle and the much longer, operate and maintain (OPEX) phase.
According to Mr. Domdey, the manner in which data and information are currently handed over from the CAPEX to OPEX is both inefficient and error-prone, requiring time-consuming reformatting and data checking. Instead, the ideal way to achieve operational excellence is to utilize a common, object-based data model across both lifecycle phases and provide plant personnel with visibility into these data through appropriate information and visualization tools. According to Domdey, this integrated lifecycle management approach will result in:
Shorter engineering cycles
Significantly lower project cost
Shorter amortization period
Low maintenance costs
This is fully consistent with ARC Advisory Group's own asset information management (AIM) model.
Bhaskar Mandal, Sector Cluster Lead, Industry Sector, Siemens, summed up the company's approach as follows: "In order to remain competitive in the marketplace, it is key for manufacturing companies to increase their productivity, be more flexible in responding to customer needs, cut time to market for new products, enhance quality and operate more sustainably than ever before. Hence it is important to address these challenges through forums where the focus is on competence building and knowledge transfer."
Siemens vision and strategy to increase productivity through integrated engineering, integrated data models for product design, plant engineering, and operations are consistent with ARC's recommendations. Siemens has designed its comprehensive portfolio to support its customers and help them improve competitiveness through increased productivity.
The case studies, in particular, helped drive home the point that these advanced concepts are beginning to gain traction and deliver cost, productivity, and other benefits in real-world industrial plants in India and elsewhere. ARC finds this particularly encouraging.
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