Operational Technology Viewpoints

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

Nov
20
2018
Jyoti Prakash — Industry Trends

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Reshaping Today’s Pipeline Leak Detection Systems

While operating companies in upstream, midstream, and downstream oil & gas have been utilizing leak detection systems (LDS) for decades; new regulations, rising concerns about pipeline integrity and cybersecurity, and the availability of several powerful new technologies have spurred increased interest in these solutions among end users. This bodes well for the overall market in the coming years. Today’s increasingly software-based leak detection systems incorporate advanced automation plus new, disruptive technologies such as predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to improve pipeline safety, availability, and security.
Nov
15
2018
Rick Rys — Technology Trends

Demand Response Key for the Future Electric Grid and Smart Cities

The need for reliable electric power for the smart city is leading to new demand response applications that integrate electric grids with microgrids, commercial building automation systems, and residential participation.
Nov
13
2018
Jyoti Prakash — Industry Trends

Standardized Subsea Controls Poised To enhance Deep-sea Oil & Gas Production

The development of subsea controls has been based on a step by step development over the years adding more and more functionalities to the various systems. Today, tremendous technology developments are ongoing, driven by the goal of locating processing systems on the seabed. The increase in complexity is extensive compared to the early beginning with North East Frigg some 30 years ago towards the subsea compression facilities that are currently being realized. There has been a development in technological areas such as; design, materials, flow assurance, control and instrumentation, installation and operation. The driver has been to develop simpler and more cost-efficient ways to produce, process and transport oil and gas offshore.
Nov
08
2018
Jyoti Prakash — Industry Trends

Artificial Lift Optimization via Industrial IoT Empowers Digital Oilfields

For decades, operating companies have used artificial lift optimization (ALO) systems to enhance oil and gas production. But in today’s “lower for longer” oil price market, with owner-operators, independent E&P companies, and other industry stakeholders trying to squeeze out more profits per barrel of oil equivalent, solutions designed to optimize artificial lift systems are in greater demand than ever. New age automation technologies, the trend toward digitalization, and the emerging Industrial IoT (IIoT), help further increase the value proposition for today’s artificial lift optimization solutions.
Nov
06
2018
Dick Hill — Technology Trends

Distributed Control System Migration in the Era of Digital Transformation

Historically, upgrading distributed control systems (DCS) has involved moving from an earlier generation of system to the current state of the art. While this sounds straightforward, the process of migration has gotten more complex as more options become available. Distributed control system migration could be the biggest single issue many automation end users face today.
Nov
01
2018
Mark Sen Gupta — Industry Trends

Moving from Process Safety I to Process Safety II

At Schneider Electric’s recent 2018 Triconex User’s Group Conference in Galveston, TX, Steve Cutchen, Investigator with the US Chemical Safety Board’s (CSB) Chemical and Hazard Investigation Board, presented on moving toward a more holistic process safety mindset that focuses on creating resilience by looking at what can be done to improve safety, rather than what has been done in the past. For readers who may not be familiar with the CSB, while it is tasked with investigating incidents, it can only make specific recommendations to improve safety based on those investigations, rather than develop regulations or issue fines.
Oct
30
2018
Janice Abel — Industry Trends

Next Gen Manufacturing Execution Systems: What Applications Provide the MOST Value?

Manufacturing execution systems (MES) continues to grow because users continue to see value from its implementation. While MES solutions provide a wide range of applications, most users see a lot of benefits from process quality and traceability. Some of the functionality is being supplemented by next gen MES. For most manufacturers, MES technology includes applications that provide the nexus technology and value for the digital transformation.
Oct
25
2018
Sandeep Mukunda — Technology Trends

Valve Actuator Upgrades Help Users Minimize Fugitive Emissions and Cut Cost

End users have been putting an increasing emphasis on minimizing fugitive emissions in recent years. One of the key contributing factors has been the release of increasingly stringent, environmental regulations such as the Clean Air Act in the US and the international Paris Agreement. These regulations have been designed to minimize the negative impact of green-house gases on the environment and their potential influence on climate change. Above and beyond the impact of new environmental regulations, oil & gas companies are also beginning to pay more attention to the cost of product loss associated with fugitive emissions as the industry continues to adapt to the new “lower for longer” attitude that carries an increased focus on cutting costs and trimming inefficiencies.
Oct
23
2018
Craig Resnick — Technology Trends

Edge Computing in Industrial Environments

Edge computing in industrial environments offers the promise of getting the right device data in near real-time to drive better decisions and maybe even control industrial processes. For this to work, it means that the edge device, its embedded software, edge servers, the gateways, and cloud infrastructure must all be up and running correctly all the time.
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