The “Internet of Things (IoT)” is a concept that has gained considerable exposure over the past decade, becoming increasingly embedded in household objects in order to more easily enable the sending and receiving of data. The IoT has already significantly changed the way that we live and work (Amazon’s Alexa, anyone?).
Now these same advancements are working their way into the industrial sector. The Industrial IoT (IIoT), where connected sensors are the "things" in the IoT, is delivering deeper and broader levels of intelligence in real time to support more efficient operations and better decision-making. There are literally hundreds of millions of connected wired and wireless pressure, level, flow, temperature, vibration, acoustic, position, analytical, and other sensors installed and operating in the industrial sector—and millions more are added annually.
The surge of IIoT has been a key influencer of the shift toward Industry 4.0, the digitization of manufacturing. These technological advancements represent an incredible potential for increased value in additional monitoring, analysis, and operational optimization in critical applications and high-pressure manufacturing.
Optimizing operations with IIoT
Sensors connected to a variety of higher-level software platforms can transmit data both on- and offsite, creating the architecture to leverage the IIoT in manufacturing facilities. These higher-level software platforms offer benefits such as control and monitoring, asset management, and specialized data analysis systems. All of this data can be used to reveal patterns, problems, and solutions to advance operational productivity, safety, and efficiency, among other benefits.
Recognizing the impact on safety, advanced monitoring and diagnostic capabilities are a key component of our newest compression system product, Q-Drive. The remote access capability allows for quick and easy access to diagnostics and troubleshooting. This reduces the costly and time-consuming process of technical service in the field and system downtimes. In addition, the system's predictive maintenance feature delivers automated maintenance reminders to ensure top performance.
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Benefits of IIoT for high-pressure manufacturing
For organizations using high-pressure equipment in their operations, leveraging the IIoT will improve safety, accuracy, and the quality of workflows. The improvement of overall analysis and quality of current operations should be the driving force behind the implementation of IIoT capabilities – collecting the data without a plan to use it ignores the benefits of these advancements.
The strategic use of IIoT starts with collecting the specific data which can inform and advance operations. For example, data could be grouped based on its operational impact, such as:
- Situational awareness data. Information that provides enhanced visualizations which enable operators to see changes in the system or environment faster than usual.
- Situational intelligence. Data which can be integrated with other environmental information to create real-time monitoring of specific events as they happen.
- Predictive analytics. Real-time data can reveal patterns which help to identify the potential for abnormal events and provide the opportunity to proactively respond.
Once data is collected and analyzed it is crucial to make sure the appropriate team members receive it in order to help them make actionable plans for improvement in the planned areas. This is where the real ROI of these efforts will be realized.
IIoT is creating safer oil and gas operations
A prime application for IIoT in high-pressure operations is in the improvement of worker safety and the reduction of adverse environmental impacts. Strategic implementation of IIoT in the oil and gas industry has advanced both operational efficiencies and safety initiatives:
- Oil and gas companies are incorporating sensing technology to monitor pressure, flow, temperature, density, and other variables in order to head-off potential problems that can be easily missed by visual inspections. Acoustic sensors can detect a breach by a variation in the acoustic signature of the pipeline’s flow and fiber optic sensors can detect deformations in pipe walls. This information is then fed back to real-time monitoring software which alerts personnel to take action.
- A robotic dog from Boston Dynamics has recently been commissioned to survey and inspect oil and gas rigs. The robot patrols the production vessel to perform inspections, searches for hydrocarbon leaks, and produces reports based on its data collection. Because of the robot’s ability to adapt and gather data without getting tired, it has high potential to make offshore operations significantly safer.
Full IIoT adoption in oil and gas, as well as other critical manufacturing applications, will be more viable when legacy systems can link to new digital platforms. Once this occurs, IIoT infrastructure can fully complement the leveling-up of operations from “monitor and respond” to a predictive and proactive model, optimizing the support available for operational decision-making.
What’s next with IIoT in high-pressure manufacturing operations
The IIoT is changing the way organizational leaders think and how they collect and utilize data to optimize operations. For companies in high-pressure manufacturing, oil and gas, defense, aerospace, and other sectors, the strategic implementation of IIoT holds exciting possibilities to advance safety, efficiency and workflow quality.
Want to learn more about how Haskel is embracing IIoT adoption? Talk to our team!