Category Archives: Big Data

Open Group OPA Forum Launches First Business Guide

Insiderlogo3From a press release at #arcforum

The Open Group Open Process Automation™ Forum Launches First Business Guide

 

Guide Aids Industrial Manufacturers to Transition to Standards-based, Open, Interoperable, and Secure Architecture for Industrial Control Systems

 

San Francisco, CA – February 13, 2018: The Open Group Open Process Automation™ Forum has launched the Open Process Automation™ Business Guide – Value

 

Proposition and Business Case for the Open Process Automation Standard. The publication, coming so soon after the Forum officially launched in January 2017, details the value and business case for the development of the Open Process Automation™ Standard, and was written by principal authors in the Forum from ExxonMobil, Intel, Lockheed Martin, Merck, and Schneider Electric. Additional contributors are from Accenture, AspenTech, BASF, CMC Associates, Curtiss-Wright, DuPont, Enterprise Transformation Partners, Georgia Pacific, Koch Industries, Royal Dutch Shell, and Siemens.

 

Aimed at helping industrial manufacturers increase productivity and customer satisfaction, the Forum will define standards for an open, interoperable, secure process automation architecture. The Business Guide expresses the motivation and vision for this architecture as a business imperative for both users and suppliers of industrial control systems.

 

The Business Guide outlines an ecosystem of end users, system integrators, hardware and software suppliers, and service providers. It defines how the business models of current stakeholders will be impacted by open interoperability and answers questions about the value propositions for buyers and sellers.

 

In addition, it outlines a spectrum of business scenarios for the current state of industrial control system use and the future state where Open Process Automation conformant systems will be used, including in continuous process industries such as oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, food and beverage, mining and minerals, chemicals, and technology.

 

“This publication is a fundamental next step for us in driving the development of a framework and a ‘standard of standards’ for how process automation is achieved,” said Ed Harrington, Director of The Open Group Open Process Automation Forum. “This initiative aims to deliver real-world benefits to a range of different vertical industries in response to the demand for standards, and we are excited to have built the business framework for success of both buyers and sellers in this area.”

 

Don Bartusiak, Chief Engineer at ExxonMobil Research & Engineering, added, “ExxonMobil believes that industry standards based on an equitable business framework and sustained by effective conformance certification are keys to achieving our business goals for the process automation systems we need to be competitive in the era of digitalization. This three-part process –consensus-based standards, defined business framework, and conformance certification from the outset – are distinguishing characteristics of The Open Group that we will employ to produce useful and timely standards. The Open Process Automation Forum’s first major deliverable, the Business Guide, articulates the value proposition and business case for all stakeholders. Its words are the business framework. They set the tone for the constructive transformation that we member companies of the Forum are striving for.”

 

“As a proud member of the Open Process Automation Forum, we were pleased to take part in the creation of this Business Guide and we congratulate all our members for achieving this important landmark,” said Trevor Cusworth, Senior Client Executive, Schneider Electric. “The Business Guide is a major step forward and an indication of the great momentum building behind this critical industry initiative. Our customers are under increasing pressure to lower the costs related to their control systems while improving the profitability of their operations. Closed, proprietary control systems make it more difficult to achieve these financial objectives because they are expensive to operate, upgrade and maintain, and they are difficult to integrate with third-party offers. That’s why many of our customers support a standards-based, open process control framework. The Open Process Automation Forum is driving the development of these standards, and this new Business Guide explains exceptionally well the value open-standards control will provide to end users, suppliers and integrators alike.”

 

Please download the Business Guide here.

 

Rajabahadur V. Arcot on the Battle for OT/IT Dominance

Insiderlogo3This would have been the October article from Rajabahadur V. Arcot

The Battle for OT / IT dominance

By Rajabahadur V. Arcot

The future holds the promise of the dawn of a new industrial era and the convergence of Operational Technology and Information Technology will hugely impact manufacturing companies. In order to differentiate the existing from the emerging systems & solutions and to highlight the importance of OT and IT convergence, new acronyms are getting coined. What we call as automation systems, DCS, PLC, SCADA and such others and enterprise solutions which include ERP, SCM, CRM, EAM and similar others are labeled respectively as Operational Technology (OT) & Information Technology (IT). According to numerous survey reports that appear periodically, many of the manufacturing companies are looking forward to benefit for OT / IT convergence and are highly optimistic that it will make them truly real-time information driven organizations and secure their future in the emerging industrial era- Industry 4.0.

Production and business operations of manufacturing companies have always been driven by information both from the shop-floor and top-floor. Initially, they deployed instruments to generate shop-floor information and top-floor transactional information was mostly generated offline. Manufacturing companies’ ability to create value to their shareholders, while ensuring customer satisfaction in the emerging era of manufacturing, depends on their ability to tightly couple the operations of all their value chain partners comprising of numerous part / sub-assembly / raw material suppliers, design associates, service providers and such others. It will become extremely important for them to ensure that, on one hand, all their production and business decisions are based on holistic and integrated real-time information and, on the other that they work collaboratively.

The fact that manufacturing operations have become more complex & competitive pressures have increased and the realization that their success depends entirely on becoming truly information driven, make industrial firms demand not only real-time data from the production and business operations, suppliers, customers, and such others, but also want them integrated and analyzed so as to derive holistic information. The recent rapid technological developments such as those relating to internet of things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data analytics, cloud computing, & Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), and OT & IT convergence, make it possible for multiple sources of data to be connected and large amount of data from them to be collected and analyzed holistically on a common platform.

Until now, manufacturing companies invested in OT to manage production floor operations while ensuring plant’s safe, efficient, and automated functioning and IT comprising of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), Product Design Management (PDM), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), and such others to assist enterprise level decision making. Often automation systems and enterprise solutions are procured from best-of-the-class suppliers and their integration required significant investments in terms of costs and time.
Information collection & their display and control of important production operations became integral part of manufacturing companies many decades ago. Suppliers of automation systems, such as Honeywell, Yokogawa, and Rockwell, realizing the power of computer and communication technologies, as they evolved, in data collection, transmission, and processing capabilities responded to the needs of the manufacturing industries and introduced of programmable logic controllers, distributed control systems, safety instrumented systems, electronic transmitters, and similar others that extensively rely on computer and communication technologies. Later they developed communication protocols that further enhanced the role of automation systems. Some of the leading suppliers of enterprise solutions are SAP, Oracle, and IBM and they also leveraged the power of computer and communication technologies.

Automation systems and enterprise solutions evolved separately at different points of time and respectively addressed the informational needs of plant floor and top floor. The business models of the suppliers of automation systems and enterprise solutions differ significantly and their offerings are designed and engineered to meet different functional and operational needs. Even the way automation systems and enterprise solutions are specified, budgeted, and procured differ fundamentally. While, in the case of OT their safe operation and availability are most important, in the case of IT data confidentiality is more important than system availability.

A new breed of companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, IBM, and Cisco Systems, which in recent years have emerged as the leading technology firms of the world, have strong competencies in technologies associated with Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data analytics, and cloud computing. Seeing tremendous growth and monetization opportunities, leading technology firms are making large investments and establishing new centers of excellence to develop and demonstrate their competencies. They are emerging as strong challengers to the traditional OT and IT suppliers and often are seen taking initiatives to emerge as dominant players the in OT / IT domain. They have already started offering OT/IT platforms / infrastructure such as Azure (Microsoft), Watson (IBM), Alexa (Amazon), DeepMind (Alphabet), and such others.
Who will succeed and emerge as leading suppliers, what will the architecture of their offerings and the open standards they will follow are questions that await answers. May be, mega mergers and acquisitions are the way-out and probably are in the making; or we may have to watch for the success of collaboration agreements, such as the one between ABB and IBM. Yet another way out may be for the push to come from the end users. One such example is the ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company’s forward looking initiative. It has entered into an agreement with Lockheed Martin to serve as a system integrator in the early stage development of new architecture for the next-generation open and secure automation systems for process industries. They intend sharing the details of the new architecture resulting from their efforts with OT players. Interesting developments and mind games are on and it is difficult to predict how it will play out and who will emerge winners.


Rajabahadur V. Arcot is an Independent Industry Analyst / Columnist and Business Consultant with around 40 years of senior managerial experience. He has held C-level executive positions in leading companies, such as Honeywell, Thermax, Bells Controls an affiliate of Foxboro / Invensys, Electronics Corporation of India Limited and Instrumentation Limited. Until recently, he was responsible for ARC Advisory Group’s business operations in India. He writes industry and technology trend articles, market research reports, case studies, white papers, and automation & manufacturing IT insights. He is the representative in India for Spitzer and Boyes LLC.

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GE-Baker Hughes and Yokogawa-KBC are partners

Baker Hughes, a GE company (NYSE: BHGE) and KBC a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yokogawa Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6841), announced a preferred partnership that will provide a combination of process simulation, asset performance management and operational software solutions to the oil and gas industry.

 

Leveraging GE’s Predix, the platform for the industrial internet, to deliver one unified view, this partnership extends KBC’s Petro-SIM process simulation modeling further into the fullstream oil and gas value chain, and provides connectivity between operations, assets, people and business processes for end-to-end optimization.

 

Integrating KBC technology with BHGE’s suite of digital solutions will allow customers to reduce bottlenecks in facilities, processes and equipment to achieve optimal production and lower risk.  By integrating data analytics connected by seamless workflows between facilities and operations, the time spent to analyze operations will be significantly reduced and the insight gained will increase production, reduce energy usage and improve product quality consistency.

 

“This partnership showcases our commitment to break down data “silos”, and is an ideal example of the convergence of process and operational thinking,” said Matthias Heilmann, Chief Digital Officer of BHGE. “For the first time, oil and gas customers can build a digital twin of a plant, refinery or rig, that incorporates end-to-end process and operational analytics and machine learning. With Petro-SIM providing simulation technology to our fullstream portfolio, this best-in-class solution will bring us into a new era of operational improvement.”

 

KBC’s Petro-SIM simulation technology already connects to cloud-based Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) data-as-a-service solutions to remotely monitor and help improve customers’ process operations. With full integration to commercial data historian and database systems, the KBC technology offers a central repository for process topology, and stream and equipment data, with access to live and historical plant operating data for performance monitoring. Asset Performance Management (APM) from GE enables intelligent asset strategies to help optimize performance to make operations safer by helping to predict and prevent failures. It can answer critical questions on the history and current operation of an asset, as well as provide an answer to what actions should be taken to improve performance, mitigate risk and ensure overall operational safety and efficiency.

 

The integration of KBC process simulation and models with BHGE analytics, digital twins, fullstream software and Predix provides real-time congruence between the digital and physical worlds. A plant digital twin, enabled by this partnership, would provide a complete view of all equipment, operations and processes, comparing actual performance to expected outcomes, and enabling predictive actions. This plant twin will also enable efficient workforce management, allowing personnel to focus on critical plant operations.

“This game-changing combination of KBC and BHGE will result in solutions for customers to quickly analyze problems and opportunities, and create insights that can then be turned into actions that will assure operational excellence, and sustainability, based on the Yokogawa approach of engaging in co-innovation with customers.” said Andy Howell, CEO of KBC. “Together we will deliver molecularly-enabled digital twins of assets across the fullstream from wellbore through pipeline networks, topsides, gas plants, refineries and petro-chemical plants.”

 

The announcement was made in Paris during UNIFY, BHGE’s first-ever Digital User Conference dedicated to productivity-driving software applications for the oil and gas industry.