Operational Technology Viewpoints

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

Oct
11
2018
Tim Shea — Industry Trends

Gazprom Neft, Skolkovo to establish digital lab for modeling multiphase flow solutions

ARC has been covering the market for multiphase flow solutions, including virtual flow metering, for several years now and has periodically blogged on the importance of testing and validation of the accuracy of the metering solutions as well as standards development and how that would help improve adoption among operators and independents.
Oct
10
2018
Larry O'Brien — Technology Trends

Bloomberg’s Big Hack Story: Truth, Lies, and Hardware

By now many of you have probably read the blockbuster story from Bloomberg/BusinessWeek called The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate US Companies, which outlined a complex and far-reaching scheme on the part of the People’s Liberation Army of China to infiltrate server motherboards manufactured by Supermicro, described by the Bloomberg as the “Microsoft of the hardware world.”
Oct
09
2018
Sharada Prahladrao — Industry Trends

Transform Businesses into Digital Enterprises

Siemens’ presentations at the recent ARC India Forum emphasized the huge impact that digitalization has had (and will continue to have) on business and industrial operations. It is now imperative for manufacturers to have a well-planned digitalization strategy – both for greenfield and brownfield projects. The company believes that manufacturers and other industrial organizations must transform their businesses into digital enterprises and, ideally, this should extend across the entire value chain. The presentations by Siemens shared a common message: “digitalization changes everything;” and this message came out clearly in the keynote address.
Oct
04
2018
Rick Rys — Technology Trends

Grid-scale battery storage, an enabler for distributed electric generation, is emerging as a major factor spawning microgrids

Thanks to massive investments in battery technology in recent decades, battery performance has been increasing, while costs have been coming down. New grid-scale battery storage capabilities have enabled the emergence of microgrids, which typically also incorporate distributed renewable and/or small-scale fossil generation capabilities. However, energy balance charts such as the one included in this post show that we still have a long way to go when it comes to the journey to zero-emission energy sources.
Oct
03
2018
Florian Güldner — Company and Product News

PLC Market - from boom to bust?

ARC has recently published the latest version of its PLC study and it shows a positive picture for 2017 and 2018. 2017 was a year many have not seen coming to this extent. Though, we had predicted the industry dynamics right, we were partly surprised by the prolonged and excessive spending in many industries, in China as well as in parts of Europe. 2017 was the best year in terms of growth since 2011, which was characterized by the recovery from the financial crisis.
Oct
02
2018
Peter Reynolds — Industry Trends

Embedding the Engineer into the Process Engineering Simulation

The process engineering simulation (PES) market is at an inflection point. Artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, and cloud computing are disrupting this market by changing the engineering workflow. Cloud computing accelerates the opportunities for improvement in design and operations, enabling engineering organizations to create value from Industrie 4.0-type agility and digitization by Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models.
Sep
27
2018
Janice Abel — Industry Trends

Top Technologies Impacting Next Gen MES

There are many technologies that are impacting the next gen MES. Manufacturing execution systems (MESs) help manufacturers and other industrial organizations reduce costs while improving operations, collaboration, workflow execution, planning and scheduling, product and material traceability and quality. Specific MES functionality can vary significantly, depending upon the supplier and industry focus. The next Gen MES applications are integrated and collaborative solutions that include embedded or 3rd party advanced analytics including machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). New solutions also include energy management, and manufacturing intelligence with easier to design visualization. Today’s MES also includes MES connectivity platforms, edge and cloud computing capabilities and new services. The next Gen MES is the nexus technology for the digital transformation and smart manufacturing.
Sep
25
2018
Harry Forbes — Technology Trends

Open Process Automation Forum Redefining Next Generation DCS

In response to the Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF), a forum of The Open Group, many DCS suppliers are defining a new generation of products in which industrial control systems will be virtualized and “software-defined” to a much greater degree than today. This OPAF effort was initiated by ExxonMobil in 2016. This largely end user-driven initiative seeks to define “a standards-based, open, secure, and interoperable process control architecture that applies across multiple process industries.” The functions of any DCS in today’s plants could be replaced by these new systems, which consist of both servers and small automation edge devices. ExxonMobil sees its existing industrial control system (ICS) applications moving gradually from the installed DCS to these small devices or to on-premise, high-availability servers that can virtualize them.
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