The digital transformation has been highlighted in the industrial environment over the past few years. New technologies have enabled operational control in real time, achieving constant optimization of industrial processes. Activities that were previously performed manually start to become faster and more assertive with the digitalization of information.
These are some of the premises that have caught the attention of many managers of large companies. In this text we will address some important points for understanding the challenges and advantages that digital transformation has brought to the industrial scenario.
How has digital transformation enabled new management models?
Technologies such as IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), Digital Twin and Cloud Computing, are some of the agents of digital transformation. The popularization of these technologies has leveraged their use within the most diverse industrial operations, enabling companies to have a significant improvement in efficiency within their operations. A report published by PwC estimated that digital operations can reduce operating costs in the Oil and Gas industries by 20% and increase plant efficiency by 12%. The use of digital systems is also responsible for flexibility in adapting the production chain according to drastic scenario changes or changing demands on the part of customers.
In addition, the access to several data from different fronts supports quality assurance and compliance with other legal regulations that rule the entire process.
Although the digital transformation has provided new forms of return over investment, it is still necessary for industries to further incorporate these new technologies into their operations. Digitalizing data is already a prerequisite for industries that want to remain competitive within the market. Based on a report by Technavio it is estimated that the global market for digital transformation into Oil and Gas will grow US $ 34 billion between 2019 and 2023, in another study it is believed that the sector loses US $ 1.6 trillion in revenue per stop adopting digital altogether.
What are the advantages that the adoption of new technologies brings to my process?
From the moment we have a lot of data being generated by different components of different systems, we make the process interconnected and even more assertive. The generated data is stored in the cloud, where it can be accessed by operators and managers anytime and anywhere.
The access to this data provides an expanded view of the entire operation, generating more accurate and faster insights, compared to traditional management methods.
Maintenance and inspection plans become more assertive, as they are planned with a sustained view with real-time information on the process and based on a precise database, making it possible to improve preventive and corrective maintenance, enabling the localization of flaws more quickly and optimizing the travel time of operators within the plant.
The interconnectivity of the various elements within an industrial facility is another tool that industries have used to their advantage. With the popularization of cloud computing, we can now have several mobile devices, such as cell phones and tablets, that connected to a network provide crucial information for strategic decision making in just a few clicks, replacing the stacks of papers and spreadsheets used in traditional methods.
The use of these mobile devices connected to industrial data networks, has made the process more dynamic and flexible. All the reading and searching for necessary information, in addition to the management of work orders and other documentation about the processes are now available on tablets and cell phones that can be accessed quickly and remotely by several team members.
The data captured by the IoT sensors also play a fundamental role in guaranteeing a continuous operation, from which the data management systems can be fed with information collected in real time from the process, enabling the guarantee of an uninterrupted operation, detecting flaws more quickly and constantly monitoring the integrity of industrial assets.
Among all the upward technologies of digital transformation, Digital Twin is one that has great prominence and importance, from which it is possible to calculate and monitor the behaviors and trends of an asset within a given scenario. With the help of Machine Learning algorithms, calculations on possible scenarios are induced and from that it is possible to analyze the need for inspection or maintenance of a certain element and also its remaining life cycle.
Asset integrity management is also one of the activities that can be optimized through the core technologies provided by digital transformation. Through data collected and arranged within 3D models, we can access information regarding the real scenario of each asset, its need for inspection or maintenance and optimization of its life cycle.
3D models also provide the user with customization according to the specific needs of their operation. Through it, it is possible to have access to different analysis modules. Information such as areas of greatest wear, heat maps and thickness measurement can be accessed digitally, corroborating the continuous flow of accurate information in real time
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Industry perspectives on the implementation of these diverse techniques
Undoubtedly, the revolutions brought by digital transformation have presented new competitive possibilities among large industries. The flexibility of an operating model is also another feature that managers like.
As we saw earlier, there is still some difficulty in adapting industries to digital transformation technologies. Thus, many industries choose for the use of specialized software that makes the work of implementation and adaptation within an industrial process faster.
These new technologies have generated great impacts and providing new horizons for many companies. The digitalization of data, interconnectivity and interoperability of operations has proven to be a great ally in the strategy of optimizing activities that previously required a lot of time and money.
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