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Digital capabilities supporting correct decisions in Asset management

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Amin Elsherif
Digital capabilities supporting correct decisions in Asset management
Last century, I had an idea of integrating operating windows into the DCS through SCADA system after developing a manual excel sheet plotting operating values on performance curves for pumps. Today, the Oil and Gas world is evolving around this concept and you can confirm that through O&G leaders referring to Digital Technologies. It will be the game changer in the next 5 years as it affects cost directly and big time. The oil and gas industry is way behind sectors like the aviation and automobile industries in terms of digitization. When you look at the nuclear, power, auto, and aviation industries - the amount of sensors and data generated in that industry to be able to know what is happening almost real time on airplanes - the oil and gas industry is way behind. Companies went through long, sustained periods of difficulties, were successful in turning those challenges into opportunities by utilizing digital technologies in making a knowledge based decisions. So O&G should be driven by advanced digital capabilities in order to allow those smart decisions to happen. This technology could increase safety and knowledge in the oil and gas sector. It should keep people away from dangerous places, maximizing life cycle and reducing turnarounds. Having a sensor in a turbine or tank should get us the knowledge without the need to go inside. Digitization truly is the single largest change for the industry and the foundation for its future. From build and design to operations, from upstream to downstream. The effective use of digital technologies in the oil and gas sector could reduce capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operational cost by 20 percent and 5 percent, respectively. What is your thoughts and experience?
Digital capabilities are certainly a game changer, Amin. With technologies always evolving as well organizations need to have the right strategy to ensure they don't fall behind. Embracing digitization will assist organizations in finding efficiencies and reinvestment in more important areas of their AM strategy. I'm interested to hear how other organizations are managing this.
This topic is going to advance whether we like it or not! The challenge I see is the lack of foresight and planning by organizations in how, when and where to implement this. One of the problems I have seen with the approach is that organizations have slipped into a state where they train their people on how to operate systems - DCS SCADA etc- and not how to manage a process. This results in situations where they operators know what is wrong but not necessarily why or how to resolve it. The other issue I see is that there will be a gap between those industries that have strong enough margins that they can afford to retrofit their equipment with the technologies and those that can't. All of the companies I've worked for would not spend the money to move forward in one go - the best they could hope for is that OEM build in the capabilities and as they change the equipment they build their digital capability piecemeal - which again needs a well thought out plan so you have technologies that talk to each other.