MAY-JUN 2019

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18 INTECH MAY/JUNE 2019 WWW.ISA.ORG PROCESS AUTOMATION highly advanced systems used to sup- port plant operations may also require the involvement of specialized exper- tise, often represented by an external supplier. Unfortunately, collaboration be- tween personnel from different disci- plines, locations, and organizational boundaries is often hindered by the fact that the information needed to solve the problem at hand is hidden within numerous information silos. Knowl- edge workers in process operation still spend too much time searching for data in information silos or proprietary tools. Many companies also lack the or- ganization and work processes to sup- port multidisciplinary collaboration, and therefore tend to execute work based on a relay race approach instead of as a collaborative effort. However, industrial companies are realizing that they need to improve the way they work to stay competitive in an increasingly volatile market. The digitali- zation trend is sweeping across the indus- tries. Companies are taking actions to improve workforce effectiveness through the introduction of digital technolo- gies. Many companies are introducing "bring-your-own-device" policies and deploying solutions so their employees can work effectively wherever they are: at the office, on trips, or from home. Although industrial applications have been lagging behind consumer and enterprise solutions, industry is now catching up to provide the same level of digital support to the industrial worker and the office worker, whether they are in the control room, in the plant, or in a remote location (figure 2). Information previously hidden within the control systems or proprietary tools is now increasingly made available through improved connectivity and inte- gration across different systems and net- work layers. Web-based applications are available to support the consolidation of data from different systems and tools, making these easily accessible from one place. Easy data access and a common work environment is the first step for ef- fective collaboration to support process operation. Improvements in analytics and visualization techniques also help workers make sense of the increasing amount of data available. Other technology trends are also sup- porting a new collaborative approach to working. After many years of teething troubles, video conferencing technol- ogy has matured and is moving from a nice-to-have technology to a necessity. Several companies now have remote operation centers that support the local control rooms with continuously open video links between locations. High- quality video conferencing technology is also available from mobile devices or personal workstations, so operators can get instant access to remote expertise via video conferencing whenever they need it. In combination, the introduc- tion of digital technology for easy ac- cess to information, independent of location, and the proliferation of video conferencing to support remote col- laboration, are blurring the boundaries between local and remote operation. Modern automation systems cover most aspects of normal operation but also handle many abnormal situ- ations. Advanced control techniques, such as model-predictive control (MPC) and state-based control, allow the automation of very complex tasks, such as the startup of a plant. Auto - matic control performs better than typical human operators. The opera- Figure 2. Although industrial applications have been lagging behind consumer and enter- prise solutions, industry is now catching up to provide the same level of digital support to the industrial worker and the office worker. Figure 1. Case example about data-driven decisions Source: McKinsey From a base of 30,000 data tags, close to zero tags are used to inform operational decisions. People and processes Deployment Analytics Data management Infrastructure Data capture ~30,000 tags measured 0% <1% <1% ~1% 60% 100% Comment Schedule predominately based on OEM- recommended maintenance intervals No interface in place to enable real-time analytics to "reach" offshore Reporting limited to a few KPIs that are monitored in retrospect Data cannot be accessed in real time, enabling only ad hoc analysis Only about 1% can be streamed onshore for day-to-day use About 40% of all data is never stored— the remainder is stored locally offshore Source Interviews with operational staff BI and KPI walkthrough Walkthrough of infra- structure and band- width between off- and onshore Assessment of storage capacity (on the highest-capacity asset)

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