By the nature of their assets and operations, midstream CIOs need a new IT architecture to drive digital transformation. That’s why they need Edge Computing to move computing resources to where they’re needed, at the industrial edge, says Jason Andersen, vice president of line of business management, Stratus Technologies
For middle CIOs, responsible for overseeing the storage, processing and transportation of petroleum products, operational excellence starts at the periphery, which must be managed in real time even if resources or personnel are limited. According McKinseythe use of digital technologies such as edge and IoT devices can generate over $1 trillion in value for oil and gas companies, their customers and society by 2025.
By the nature of their industry, midstream CIOs require a new IT architecture to drive digital transformation due to the process of the oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids production chain. To realize the full potential of these new digital technologies, CIOs must overcome unique challenges such as applying solutions across geographically dispersed and often remote assets; insufficient IT infrastructure in remote areas; data latency preventing effective performance and transaction monitoring; availability of equipment; minimize unplanned downtime or interruptions; manage critical infrastructure, security risks and cyberattacks. This is where Edge Computing provides value.
Enable Operational Excellence with Edge Deployments
Edge Computing platforms can run multiple applications on a single high-availability node through virtualization, resulting in huge cost savings and faster application deployment. Tracking and accounting for gas and liquid movement for customers and regulatory reporting is essential for midstream operations, as it provides visibility into product movement and clear logistics.
Oil and gas companies are implementing edge computing platforms to ensure transaction security and provide data flow for data management services. By moving edge computing to end stations, organizations have the freedom to provide real-time visibility and insight into operations that provide decision support and increase overall customer satisfaction.
As with any process in the midstream industry, unplanned downtime in operations is costly and unacceptable, as restarting operations can take hours and a single hour of unplanned downtime can cost businesses up to $5. million dollars a year, according to a study by ITIC.
This is where Edge Computing can help. By providing real-time visibility into conditions directly in the field such as power outages, pipeline integrity failures, and other critical issues by acquiring performance data from assets on site, midstream companies can proactively detect any issues before downtime occurs. Additionally, data histories are run on Edge platforms to collect temporal datasets to compare with predictable parameters, providing midstream companies with the means to improve utility consumption for better energy management. energy. As the deployment of edge computing allows midstream companies to operate more efficiently, it adjusts the responsibilities of the employees operating there.
How Edge Computing Will Change Employee Responsibilities in the Oil & Gas Industry
Midstream companies’ decision to integrate Edge Computing into their technology stacks means a change in the roles and responsibilities of existing staff and new job requirements for future hires. Edge Computing allows employees to work remotely, so staff don’t always have to be onsite. The technology also eliminates exposure to hazardous conditions and the need to perform tedious and repetitive tasks such as quality control, process and asset monitoring, providing the opportunity to maximize performance while increasing productivity. employee efficiency.
As with any new product or machine, companies want to know how they will maintain the machine throughout its life cycle and what skills are required. Due to the nature of mid-well locations, these sites are remote and sparsely populated with personnel, let alone trained IT professionals. As such, serviceability is key when investing in new technology to ensure ease, efficiency and effectiveness of service when issues arise. With Edge Computing platforms, companies can reduce the risk of downtime while maximizing the output of their workforce. While maximizing uptime is a major benefit, the cost and effort required to keep systems running is also crucial.
The midstream oil and gas industry uses a technology called digital twins. This technology combines the virtual and physical worlds to improve data analysis and system monitoring to improve design and operations, avoid downtime, reduce costs, and deliver new data to added value throughout the development of intermediate assets. Beyond physical tasks, intermediate CIOs can leverage these digital twins and AI to run through potential scenarios to make more informed decisions autonomously.
Another area where Edge Computing can save time and money is predictive maintenance – using data such as temperature, vibration and flow, collected by sensors, predictive analysis monitors for all red flags, which are then used to predict when maintenance needs to be completed to avoid decreased efficiency or potential equipment failure. Edge Computing not only has the power to change the responsibilities of oil and gas employees, but also helps companies reap the benefits of Industry 4.0.
Unleashing Industry 4.0 with the implementation of Edge Computing
An effective Edge Computing strategy gives midstream operators easier access to advanced analytics, providing a foundation to pursue advanced Industry 4.0 capabilities. Edge Computing equips sensors and machines with the necessary calculations. It provides sufficient processing capacity to select input data while allowing a system to identify critical data by applying real-time algorithms and eliminating most errors. These technological improvements decrease the overall cost of IIoT devices, allowing sensors to be installed in all types of machinery and equipment. This helps midstream producers collect, process and analyze meaningful data in real time, providing more opportunities for value generation and cost reduction and better utilization of growing data. Mid-level CIOs traditionally turn to data analytics when making big data decisions. Here, operational operators from Edge Providers with the same level of analytics required to succeed through the transparent flow of real-time data.
Today, autonomous operations are transforming the midstream industry. Advancements in industry technologies can eliminate all types of manual effort and perform other tasks independently, reliably and with high precision. With Edge Computing, midstream businesses have the foundation to succeed, increase profitability, and achieve the results that matter most, including employee safety, advanced decision-making, lower carbon cost, and increased customer satisfaction. employees and customers.
Creating Success by Implementing Edge Computing Platforms
The midstream industry is responsible for continuous, safe, reliable and compliant operations. Edge Computing platforms extend powerful, mission-critical applications to the operational edge while simplifying IT management, reducing IT footprint, and delivering zero-touch operations simply and autonomously. Implementing and running Edge Computing in midstream industry processes can improve reliability, operational efficiency, product quality, and overall workplace safety. Hoping to accelerate their digital transformation journeys, increase equipment reliability, and capture point-of-origin data with operational insight, midstream industry CIOs should consider adopting Edge Computing forms into their processes.