Beyond the Refinery—Connecting the Ecosystem

We cannot solve problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

Albert Einstein

Overview

This chapter describes how Proclndustries and other manufacturers have transitioned from on-premises software usage for process improvements to near-real-time sharing of their operations data with third-party providers, such as equipment suppliers, process analysis companies, and information technology (IT) systems integrators, in order to more quickly improve their facilities.

This data sharing may be required because of a lack of in-house expertise or in cases where operating companies have service contracts with equipment suppliers that stipulate these providers receive plant performance data for analysis and, in return, provide recommendations for optimal performance. Data sharing is also critical in other scenarios such as contract manufacturing (prevalent in pharmaceutical and life sciences), joint ventures (i.e., upstream oil and gas), and integrated supply chains (i.e., from pit to port). You will follow the Proclndustries South Texas refinery team as they discover not everything can be resolved with in-house expertise.

We also present two companies who have successfully used a cloud-based data exchange arrangement with third parties, securely transmitting near- real-time data outside their company firewalls. You will learn how Anglo American Platinum, a global diversified mining company and precious metals producer, shared their data with Outotec, a service provider in Finland, through a connected services environment. This service provider is a leading European firm supplying technology and services to companies that are seeking the most sustainable practices in utilizing water and energy.

The second example is a company that provides predictive analytics results to their customers in various industries, in this case, a power generation plant that had surface condenser issues, which led to increased costs. Both companies utilize OSIsoft's PI Cloud Connect services platform, which we explain further.

 
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