Moving from Paper and Pencil to Digital Practices

by , | Jun 30, 2020 | Downstream Hydrocarbons

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

Hydrocarbon Engineering: Disparate DataOne path in digital transformation initiatives is the move from paper & pencil-based data collection on operator rounds to Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-based sensors collecting and transmitting the data on a continuous basis.

In a Hydrocarbon Engineering article, Disparate Data (registration required), Emerson’s Jodi Johnson describes how this shift helps create value for manufacturers and producers. She opens noting the challenges inherent in the paper & pencil practice.

Maintenance history may be lacking as it is not typically centralized, which creates a lack of understanding of a plant’s current condition and even the location of the assets.

In addition to the time saved not having to track down information on paper, knowing:

…where assets are located and how they are functioning is important for managing plant budgets and optimizing productivity.

Jodi shares the example of digital positioners on control valves, which have been available since the 1980s. As software and secure communications technology has advanced:

…it is possible for end users to have equipment experts regularly review device data anywhere in the world, ensuring that the plant will have the best possible maintenance strategy regardless of the type of equipment.

One area of IIoT technology is digital nameplates on equipment using RFID communications.

Once an RFID tag is attached, it can be scanned and read into an application to track construction changes and visual health in real time. The output of this data collection can create a worklist based on those findings to prioritise service needs, creating a flow of operating and asset information across an organization.

Jodi cites a Bain & Co. study, Big Data Analytics in Oil and Gas which highlights the value in increased visibility to information.

Having access to service and walkdown histories enables improved decision support, by helping prioritise assets that truly need to be worked on. According to management consultants Bain & Co., this level of visibility can help oil and gas companies improve production by 6-8%.

Visit the Hydrocarbon Engineering site and sign up for a free trial if you’re not already a subscriber, for more examples and putting the IIoT technologies together into a digital ecosystem to flexibly execute your digital transformation strategy.

Explore the Industrial IoT and Lifecycle Services – Valves, Actuators & Regulators sections for more on the technologies and services to advance your digital transformation initiatives. You can also connect and interact with other IIoT and digital transformation experts in the IIoT & Digital Transformation group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.