Why IIoT in Refineries Now?

This audio was created using Microsoft Azure Speech Services

By: Rachel K. Carson, MarCom Analyst for Process Industries

Whether we are aware of it or not, data is driving the processes around us everywhere. Phones are smarter than ever, collecting data from our camera, maps, and even, our flashlight apps. Our precise location, the videos we watch on YouTube, and the ads/links we click are all ways marketers collect data from us every day. So what processes receive this data overload? How does all of this data get organized or studied? And what does this have to do with my job?

Welcoming to the spotlight is IIoT  – the IoT of the refining industry.

What is IIoT?

The Industrial Internet of Things is the collection of data and information from the operating plant. IIoT is all about collecting information and analyzing that data so that the analysis can be used to make better operational decisions. It’s closing the loop to achieve the greatest operational value through the process of Connect, Collect, Analyze, and Act.

Survey on IoT Investments
Figure 1: Investments in IIoT over the next 3 years, by industry [Source: Cisco survey, 2014]
But while many companies intend to heavily invest in IIoT projects (Figure 1), many companies have failed to properly scope, plan, and execute IIoT. Cisco survey reveals close to three-fourths of IoT projects are failing.

Through advanced and integrated software, proper IIoT software implementation can help prevent system failures, automate and optimize the entire process, and intelligently equip personnel to make better decisions faster. It is designed and formatted to meet each plant’s functioning structure. IIoT allows for real-time decisions and business logic through varying circumstances.

Why IIoT? And why you should care..

It is estimated that 60% of major refineries are not performing to their maximum operational capabilities. Decision makers are only receiving minimal percentages of readable data due to poor analyzing software capabilities. The good news is that of all the industries, refineries in particular, are best poised to implement and quickly benefit from an IIoT strategy.

IIoT within refineries is trending fast. Figure 1 shows that the Oil & Gas industry, more than any other, is already investing heavily in IIoT. This is because IIoT promises great short and long-term results, allowing for smoother refinery optimization on the long term curve. The time is right for IIoT:

  • Market pressures force the need for cost-effective operations
  • Affordable cloud internet (connection ability and storage) is now available
  • Big Data allows the collection of large amounts of data and storing it efficiently
  • Systems use ALL data (eliminating dark data)
  • Technology is cheaper than ever before
  • Affordable wireless data-rich smart devices
  • Improved quality of data with increased access to better data and LOTS of it
  • Greater industry use of mobile devices: Phones, tablets, wearables
  • Better analytics allow for making decisions in real time and improved analytics drive powerful IIoT capabilities

IIoT Approach in Refinery

An IIoT Approach in the Refinery Makes Sense

Real value lies in making meaningful business context of the data, and delivering actionable information for your business. An effective IIoT solution allows more than data to be collected. It’s the process of Collecting, Connecting, and Analyzing the information; and then Acting on that data to make the best decisions for people, assets, and operations.

Benefits of IIOT

IIoT delivers real benefits across the automation journey. From the design and engineering to maintenance and services, IIoT allows for simultaneous capture, storage, and process of data across all platforms of operations. Benefits include:

  • Reduced costs
  • Reduced time to market
  • Overall efficiency
  • Greater flexibility
  • More availability
  • Easier sustainability

Ready to learn more? Watch our webcast

On March 14th, Joseph McMullen outlined the importance of IIoT in Delivering Closed-Loop Business Operations for the Refinery Enterprise: Strategic Implementation of IIoT in Refineries webinar. He explains why IIoT better manages data and allows operators to efficiently act on that data to make wiser operating, efficiency, and financial decisions.

Come back next week for Blog #2 on the trending topic of IIoT and how it is playing a powerful impact within refinery operations.


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