GE Digital introduced its Remote Operations for Oil & Gas and Chemical Industries, a software and appliance solution that provides employees with more secure remote equipment control for essential equipment monitoring and control functions. GE Digital began offering Remote Operations earlier in 2020 in the Power Generation industry and already has many worldwide industrial customers using the solution.
With distant upstream facilities and harsh operating conditions, the Oil & Gas industry faces challenges in providing safe and cost-effective equipment monitoring, maintenance, and emergency response. At the refinery or plant, the global pandemic and economic pressures are triggering both Oil & Gas and Chemical companies to re-think their strategies regarding contingency operations, worker location flexibility, and on-site staffing. GE Digital’s Remote Operations solution, which has been proven in power generation, is designed to address these and other challenges faced by the Oil & Gas and Chemical industry.
Remote Operations provides remote and mobile workers with more secure and managed access to equipment controls regardless of type. NERC-CIP and ISA 99/62443 compliant security, multi-factor authentication, and operational safeguards help to enable failsafe control flexibility and cooperation across both on-site and off-site staff.
Typical use cases for Remote Operations in the Oil & Gas and Chemical industries include:
- Centralized monitoring of distant and dispersed equipment
- Lights-out operation of distant facilities
- Remote monitoring and controls over refinery or plant equipment
- Mobile controls and HQ collaboration for maintenance crew activities
- Anytime/anywhere access to experts to aid in equipment maintenance
- Remote/mobile monitoring and controls for in-house power generation facilities
Remote Operations is available in three upwardly scalable compatible packages, helping to accommodate needs ranging from urgent continuity to fault tolerant operations centers. All packages include the core end-to-end security and compliance features.
Remote Operations Response is a special packaged offer to more rapidly enable remote monitoring and assistance. It is compatible with existing systems and requires only the addition of a preconfigured secure network appliance and firewall. Upon equipment arrival, installation can typically be done in a single working day with remote support from GE Digital without requiring operations shutdown.
Remote Operations Standard (limited availability) delivers more enhanced remote / mobile functions guarded by permitting and policy controls. Central operators can control remote / mobile worker access by, for example, time and equipment type. An interactive interface helps to ensure that remote, mobile, and on-site staff can work independently or together in a more secure and compliant environment.
Remote Operations Advanced (limited availability) provides full remote / mobile controls and additional optional operating capabilities in a high availability design configuration with failover. Remote Operations Advanced is a good choice for industrials adopting remote and distributed controls as a standard, failsafe operating model across a fleet of plants or equipment.
Craig Resnick, ARC Advisory Group, commented, “Traditional on-site plant workforce strategies are evolving, as economic and competitive forces are compelling industrial companies to adopt centralized monitoring, flexible resourcing, and remote staffing, trends that were all greatly accelerated by the pandemic and will become part of the new normal. GE Digital’s Remote Operations for Oil & Gas and Chemical Industries meets the criteria for enabling remote and mobile access for a connected workforce regardless of location. That helps to facilitate collaboration and provides secure access to monitoring and control functionality to appropriate individuals from anywhere and supports interactions with remote experts.”