Operational Technology Viewpoints

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

Aug
21
2018
Janice Abel — Industry Trends

Advanced Analytics Improves Operations Decisions

Real-time operations and business operations have different data requirements. SCADA data users need real-time data to make decisions. According to Don Morrison, Real Time Data Engineer at Devon Energy, the company’s SCADA system was designed to support operations. However, SCADA data often has abnormalities. For example, when a sensor fails or is brought off line for maintenance, data averages can become inaccurate. In cases such as these, the data must be cleansed by removing abnormalities. Devon Energy has found that advanced analytics improves operations data. They achieve this by combining the real-time system and Seeq metrics to remove some of the abnormalities and improve data quality. Once this is done, the company incorporates the cleansed data into real-time operational dashboards to support drilling and production users as well as business users. For operations users, these dashboards typically provide both basic monitoring information and higher level operational status.
Aug
16
2018
Himanshu Shah — Industry Trends

Energy-Efficient AC Drives Reduce Power Consumption and Help Extend Motor Life Across Many Industrial Applications

While debate continues about both renewable energy versus fossil fuel-based generation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the correlation between GHGs and global warming, there’s no argument about the importance of reducing plant operating costs and extending the life of industrial assets. This is where energy-efficient AC drives can help.
Aug
14
2018
Paul Miller — Industry Trends

New world-scale Dangote Refinery in Nigeria will boast advanced technology for feedstock and product flexibility and environmentally responsible operations

In recent decades, we’ve seen some of the most advanced refineries and petrochemicals plants globally coming on line in India, China, and Saudi Arabia. These include really impressive, world-scale projects utilizing advanced technologies for more environmentally responsible operations such as Reliance Industry’s Jamnagar Refinery in India; the Zhanjiang refinery in China (a JV between Sinopec and Kuwait Petroleum); the Yanbu Refinery in Saudi Arabia (a JV between Saudi Aramco and Sinopec); and the Sadara chemical complex, also in Saudi Arabia (a JV between Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical); to name just a few.
Aug
09
2018
Rick Rys — Industry Trends

What is the future of base load power and spinning reserves?

Most people take electric power for granted and few understand the complexities involved to keep the power flowing without interruptions. There is great public demand for clean renewable power, but utilities fear that these non-dispatchable renewables will disrupt our electric grids. We’ve all witnessed the impact of occasional power failures. Thankfully, according to FERC, outages caused by failed protection system equipment, AC substation failures, or human error, have decreased over the past five years. This, despite the fact that solar and wind are the major new source of generation and older base load power from coal and nuclear plants have been closing. So, what happened? How can grid stability be improving?
Aug
07
2018
Larry O'Brien — Industry Trends

DHS Sheds Light on Recent Infrastructure Cyber Attacks

DHS recently held several webinars in the wake of its March announcement regarding Russian state-sponsored hacking group Energetic Bear/Dragonfly on utilities and critical infrastructure installations in the US.  The webinar focused on some of the more interesting and unique aspects of these recent attacks plus some countermeasures that end users can implement right now that can greatly reduce the likelihood of future attacks. 
Aug
07
2018
Jyoti Prakash — Industry Trends

Digital Twins Define Oil & Gas 4.0

According to the US Department of Energy, pumping systems account for almost 20 percent of the world’s energy consumed by electric motors and approximately 25 to 50 percent of the total electric energy usage in certain industrial facilities. Among other applications, pumps move crude oil through vast pipeline networks, which in turn play an indispensable role in transporting hydrocarbons to key markets. Suppliers are already developing solutions such as digital twins that can leverage data analytics to optimize the performance of pump stations for crude oil and other pipelines.
Aug
03
2018
David Humphrey — Company and Product News

Siemens Readies Itself for the Future

Siemens is no stranger to the reorg. The last one took place in 2014, a year into the tenure of CEO Joe Kaeser. Dubbed “Vision 2020” at the time, Kaeser claimed this week at the company’s Q3 analyst conference that the goals of that initiative largely have been achieved.
Aug
03
2018
Florian Güldner — Industry Trends

Siemens New Strategy and Q3 Numbers

Siemens announced new its new strategy and their latest numbers. Timing wise, this is a smart move, as it is always better to change before it starts to hurt and the numbers are indeed quite good.
Aug
01
2018
Dick Hill — Industry Trends

Batch Management and Control - Meals Prepared by Robotics in Boston

I recently had lunch at a relatively new establishment in Boston’s South End called “Spyce”.  This (literally) fast food restaurant is unique in that, instead of seeing human cooks behind the counter mixing ingredients and cooking your meal to order, a series of spinning metal bowls controlled by

Jul
30
2018
Guest Blogger: Andy Jain — Industry Trends

Industrial Automation Transitions from Disruptive Innovation to Ambidexterity

Austrian economist, Joseph Schumpeter, once commented that: “The same process of industrial mutation - if I may use that biological term - that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroys the old one, incessantly creates a new one. This process of creative destruction is the essential fact about capitalism.”
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