Operational Technology Viewpoints

Insights on emerging technologies, practices, and processes for enhancing operational excellence.

Dec
18
2018
Harry Forbes — Acquisition or Partnership

ABB Divests Power Grids to Hitachi

After months of speculation and weeks of rumors, yesterday ABB announced it was divesting its Power Grids Division to Hitachi. The months of speculation derived from the European activist investor Cevian Capital, which won a seat on the ABB Board in 2017, apparently with an agenda of breaking up the group. ABB shareholders will receive roughly $7.7 billion from the transaction through buybacks or similar actions.
Dec
13
2018
Rick Rys — Technology Trends

Transactive Energy for the Electric Grid of the Future

While deregulation of electric utilities has separated generation from distribution in the US and elsewhere, many opportunities remain for future regulations to make our grids provide reliable power at the lowest costs with transactive energy for the electric grid.
Dec
11
2018
Jyoti Prakash — Industry Trends

Advanced Process Control and Optimization to Boost the LNG Industry

For more than a decade, advanced process control (APC) technology has been playing a significant role in the global liquified natural gas (LNG) value chain. While the LNG market is expected to grow in 2018 due to continued environmental concerns, increased use of LNG in the industrial and transport sectors, especially in Asia, LNG liquification plants in particular face several critical constraints affecting profitability. The production process in LNG plants is sensitive to a wide range of disturbances, including both changes in ambient temperatures and feedstock composition. APC technology can help compensate for these variables to enable processes to be operated closer to constraints without compromising safety. This improves profitability without negatively impacting a plant’s “license to operate.”
Dec
06
2018
Anju Ajaykumar — Industry Trends

Standardization of Coordinate Measuring Machines Supports Smart Factory Infrastructure

The move toward Industry 4.0 drives a new trend in smart factory infrastructure. Manufacturers are transiting to smart connected factories and extending Industrial IoT ecosystems across factories, plants, and supply chains. Efficient and flexible data analysis are critical for production systems and plant assets. As the trend of Industry 4.0 accelerates, metrology and quality control need to keep up with the latest digital trend. Coordinate measuring machines are critical machines in manufacturing process, which captures geometric measurements or surface conditions of a workpiece. Continued technology advancements now enable coordinate measuring machines to be integrated into the shop floor and interoperate with other inspection technologies throughout the manufacturing process.
Dec
04
2018
Sharada Prahladrao — Industry Trends

Asian Downstream Summit Focuses on Digital Transformation

The 11th Asian Downstream Summit in Singapore, hosted by the Energy Market Authority, attracted over 800 attendees, 80 speakers, and 28 sponsors and exhibitors. ADS, considered the anchor oil and gas event of the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW), provided a platform for networking, seeking partnerships, and showcasing technologies through relevant case studies. The three-track agenda focused on core refining & petrochemical technologies, innovation, asset management, energy efficiency, Industry 4.0 and digital transformation in the oil & gas sector. KBC (a Yokogawa company) held a readiness assessment workshop to help people identify the gap between their own organizations and the industry leaders; in particular the characteristics behind the digital leadership and change management practices of other organizations as these apply to digital transformation.
Dec
03
2018
Guest Blogger: Michael Ford — Technology Trends

Industrial IoT - The Journey from Talk to Success

Successful endeavors traditionally start with a clear business plan that has a defined expected outcome. Industrial IoT has no such luxury. Though the “talk” suggests grand opportunities, many of the success stories so far have largely been narrowly focused and – to a certain degree - proprietary. While this is not really what IIoT is about, there are many things we can do to put it back on track.
Nov
30
2018
David Humphrey — Company and Product News

After a Year of Uncertainty, OPC Foundation Members Agree on the Way Forward

At Germany’s SPS trade fair in late November, the OPC Foundation announced its long-anticipated plans to extend OPC UA down to the field level. This announcement amounts to a breakthrough after a year-long stalemate that threatened to divide the industry into two competing camps.
Nov
29
2018
Anju Ajaykumar — Industry Trends

Unleashing the Potential of Industry 4.0 in Emerging Markets

ARC Advisory Group held the company's sixteenth India Forum for the process and discrete industries, from July 5-6, 2018 in Bangalore, India. This year’s ARC India Forum, Digitizing and Securing Industry, Infrastructure, and Cities, attracted over 250 delegates. The Forum session topics covered industry and infrastructure moving towards digitization; automation trends, cybersecurity; smart technologies and smart cities; and several end user experiences. At the event, Ankur Goyal, Head – Strategic Business Development (Industry 4.0), Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions, presented an end user presentation entitled, “Unleashing the Potential of Industry 4.0.”
Nov
27
2018
John Kuenzler — Technology Trends

Automation Fair 2018 Highlights Rockwell Automation’s IoT Strategy and PTC Thingworx Investment

Rockwell’s recent Automation Fair 2018 in Philadelphia had record customer attendance (more than 8,000 customers) for this annual event when it’s held at a location other than Chicago. This event keeps getting bigger and bigger, and it will be real interesting to see what the attendance will be next year when Automation Fair returns to Chicago.
Nov
23
2018
Valentijn de Leeuw — Industry Trends

Information Modelling at NAMUR 2018: Namur Open Architecture (NOA) and Asset Lifecycle Data Model (ALC)

At the NAMUR General Assembly held on November 8 and 9, 2018, two topics were directly related to Information Modelling or data modelling. Data models enable information interoperability by specifying which information is stored where, and what the content of that information is. Models for asset information enable the efficient management of information of an asset. Asset information is seen as increasingly important and forms a basis for engineering, qualification and compliance, commissioning, operation, safety, maintenance and decommissioning.
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