Each year, the ARC Advisory Group holds a forum for the process and power industries to address key topics to help owners / operators ensure sustainable profitability in a volatile world.
The 2015 ARC European Industry Forum (ARC EIF) focused on the impact of big data on operational excellence, use of cloud-based solutions within the entire asset lifecycle and the industrial internet of things (IIoT) within the concept of Industry 4.0.
In addition to the plenary presentations, the many workshops provided room for the attendees to discuss the impact on their industry. Edwin van Dijk of BlueCielo was a panelist in the engineering and lifecycle management workshop, giving insight on the impact of engineering data management trends within the asset lifecycle.
Big data for operational excellence
Big data, data mining and predictive analytics particularly on operational data and the operational historian were discussed in the forum. Interesting customer cases were presented in which operational data was transformed into information and knowledge, and how this led to cost savings which far exceeded the investment value.
Novartis discussed why home-grown solutions for automation strategy are not sustainable. Standard, off-the-shelf hardware and software, standardization and simplicity, as opposed to over-complexity and implementation projects with business users in the driving seat were shown to lead to the most cost-effective solutions.
Engineering data management trends
Plant design platform suppliers are moving more and more into plant data modelling and the integration of all engineering disciplines into a combined digital plant. For engineering contractors, this enables shorter time to market as well as high design reliability during construction and commissioning.
Another trend is collaboration in the cloud, based on the supplier specific platform. CAD platform independent cloud-based collaboration solutions provide owners / operators with a better way to manage plant optimization projects while avoiding supplier lock in.
During the ‘engineering and lifecycle management’ workshop, it was stressed by the audience that the construction and commissioning phase are incredibly hectic and it is hard to maintain accurate plant design models before the handover of master data to operations and maintenance.
Edwin van Dijk discussed that engineering data management, within the light of the entire asset lifecycle, should start as early as possible within the plant modification projects. In that way master data can be prepared for handover, within the formats required by Operations & Maintenance, alongside the construction phases (see also: Solutions for Improved Data Handover).
Cloud solutions within the asset lifecycle
Cloud computing accelerates business transformations as it mitigates some of the required large, up-front investments in IT and increases flexibility and adaptability. During the forum, many specialists agreed that operational data is too big and the required responsiveness for real-time analytics was considered a hurdle to move this data into the cloud. Mainly supply chain integration and optimisation were considered to be the most logical areas for which cloud solutions can be used.
The industrial internet of things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0
The Industrial Internet of Things (the use of sensors, advanced analytics and intelligent decision making), will enable owners / operators to ensure competitiveness and sustain profitability if bold but rational steps are taken. At the forum, both Industry 4.0 and cybersecurity were discussed to increase awareness of participants on the dangers of cyber-attacks. Vendors offering cyber security services and solutions are on the rise.
BlueCielo was pleased to have been a part of the ARC European Industry Forum 2015 and the team gained great value from the information and thought leadership shared in this event.
We look forward to participating in the forum again next year and to continuing our collaboration with ARC Advisory Group.