Remote Operations Management Unlocks Greater Efficiencies

Author photo: Mark Sen Gupta
ByMark Sen Gupta
ARC Report Abstract

The focus on operating industrial facilities is to maintain steady-state operations despite frequent disturbances, with operators performing whatever is necessary to keep the facilities running and meet production schedules in a safe and environmentally acceptable way. Traditionally, whether the facility is fully manned, minimally manned, or unmanned; its operations are typically coordinated from a central location in a rigidly hierarchal fashion.

Although some remote facilities still operate in this manner, the next-generation of remote facilities cannot. The economics of steady-state operations have been replaced with a dynamic economic environment in which adapting to changing supply and demand are the norm. Tighter production specifications, greater economic pressures, and the need to maintain supply reserves, plus more stringent process safety measures, cybersecurity standards, and environmental regulations further challenge this dynamic environment.

Managing these challenges requires more agile, less hierarchical structures; highly collaborative processes; reliable instrumentation; high avail-ability of automation assets; excellent data; efficient information and real-time decision-support systems; accurate and predictive models; and precise control. Uncertainty and risks must be well understood and well managed in every aspect of the decision-making process.

Perhaps most importantly, everyone must have a clear understanding of the business objectives and progress toward those objectives. Increasingly, effective remote operations management requires real-time decisions based on a solid understanding of what is happening, and the possibilities over the entire operations cycle.

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Keywords: SCADA, Remote Operations Management, Collaboration, Human Assets, ARC Advisory Group.

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