ProcIndustries Enterprise-Wide Rollout

I have never met a CEO who does not know the value of all data from his or her assets.

J. Patrick Kennedy


This chapter describes how Proclndustries presents and justifies the business case to their management for scaling the enterprise industrial data infrastructure (EIDI) for the South Texas refinery to Proclndustries' entire fleet of refineries. The digital transformation team presents the refinery's quantifiable and non-quantifiable returns they have realized since they initially implemented the EIDI. Once management gives approval, we discuss best practices for deploying an EIDI at multiple sites as part of an enterprise-wide initiative.

ProcIndustries Continues Their Digital Transformation

Proclndustries' operations leadership has recognized the significant cost savings and technological improvements that have occurred at the South Texas refinery. Since the initial enterprise industrial data infrastructure (EIDI) deployment, the refinery achieved expected payback in just over 18 months from the EIDI installation date.

The hard work and success of the past year helped the refinery transformation team to significantly develop and hone their skills, relative to the start of their journey. Peter Argus, the continuous-improvement manager, has built a multidisciplinary team, comprised of process engineers, process control engineers, maintenance personnel, business planning and scheduling people, information technology (IT) personnel, plant management, and others.

Because of their South Texas refinery's success, the Proclndustries leadership team has given the team a go-ahead to create a proposal supporting enterprise EIDI company-wide deployment. Management expects the team to

  • • Summarize the South Texas refinery operational improvements, cost reductions, and how the team went about uncovering hidden losses to improve overall refinery effectiveness;
  • • Explain why a company-wide deployment is required and project the expected benefits; and
  • • Discuss the plan for enterprise-wide deployment.

With the leadership and support of Bill Roberts (vice president of operations for Proclndustries), who has seen significant enough variance reductions between production targets and actual refinery output, the team works on the proposal and justification.

Monica Armstrong (planning and economics coordinator) proposes a top-down deployment based on the deployment structure of what they had accomplished at the South Texas refinery, using their standard templated methodology. Bill supports her approach, as he believes people should examine different ways to get people engaged and empowered to try new things. This is the backbone of his digital transformation strategy, and requires changing traditional ways of thinking and planning. Bill wants to use the enterprise-wide deployment to help employees adapt to his continuous- improvement and innovation goals. One objective is to automate repetitive human tasks so that the refineries perform optimally. The second strategy is to challenge people to look beyond current practices and workflows, seeking out new and creative ways of using the data to uncover business value.

The team begins the process of planning for this extensive deployment. They begin identifying the business processes that require modifications and how to foster collaboration at all levels of the organization. Their people/ technology/process message centers on the benefits of EIDI technology. The team needs to express their ideas to management succinctly and accurately if they have any chance of company-wide success.

One topic they will present to management is how the integration of EIDI data with other Proclndustries software systems led to greater productivity and cost savings. Specifically this was done by

  • • Modeling refinery processes using a digital twin concept, which replicates their physical operations data and uses various process and statistical modeling software to compare actual results against design expectations and to predict future behavior;
  • • Implementing a proactive condition-based maintenance program that continuously monitors their critical equipment, versus relying on vendor calendar-based service times. Online EIDI calculations alert plant personnel when an asset reaches a maximum prescribed run time or when an asset's performance is degrading or operating outside of expected parameters. The asset is then subject to a maintenance review or is taken out of service. The EIDI sends notifications to the Proclndustries' asset maintenance system indicating changes in equipment status;
  • • Connecting utility meters to monitor and correlate energy consumption to process events and activity. After careful analysis, they have reduced energy usage by 3%; and
  • • Extracting contextualized production data and publishing as data sets, used by corporate analytics software for yield and run-time cost analysis.

The digital transformation team will present four fundamental steps that ensure the best likelihood of success for enterprise-wide deployment:

  • 1. Build the EIDI business case and obtain management approval.
  • 2. Deploy the EIDI and initial use cases that capture quick returns.
  • 3. Assess the successes of initial use cases. Take corrective action as needed.
  • 4. Administer ongoing governance and prioritize future use cases.
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