Historically midstream oil and gas organizations have kept two critical functions within their businesses almost entirely separate – Information Technology and Operations Technology. But with the industrial Internet of Things and Industrie 4.0 gaining momentum in almost every industrial market, pipeline organizations are beginning to identify new opportunities for these functional departments to collaborate and drive improved profitability and maximized return on capital across their asset and operations lifecycles.
One of the biggest challenges organizations face in making progress towards OT and IT convergence is not knowing where or how to get started. Here are some questions midstream pipeline operators can ask themselves to help identify a solid starting point and begin to chart a course for their asset performance management journey:
- Do you know how much visibility and control you have over your current pipeline assets and their maintenance strategy? OT and IT can take a simple and straight forward step towards convergence by transitioning from a paper and pencil maintenance round strategy to one that is powered by digital technology such as mobile data capture that is then transmitted to a cloud based server for storage and back up. This is also a great step to take towards improving visibility of regulatory compliance.
- How much is the organization paying in maintenance costs for each of their assets? Asset Management software can be a powerful tool for gaining visibility and improving awareness in the workforce for how much asset maintenance is costing. Those software tools can then be mashed up with other financial data stored in IT based accounting systems such as SAP to understand how much each asset is contributing to the company’s bottom line profitability. This data can be used to identify under-performing assets that may need to be replaced or upgraded.
- Have you performed a risk assessment to understand the impact of asset failure on pipeline operations? Understanding the criticality of assets that keep a pipeline flowing and functioning at optimal performance is key in developing an overall asset performance management strategy. Predictive Analytics software can be managed and used to analyze asset performance by an operations technology team to catch pump and compressor failures before they occur. But that software can also be hosted by the information technology team in cloud based virtual servers that reduce total cost of ownership for midstream operators while enabling a centralized data repository for different functional business units to access, creating a single version of truth across enterprise operations.
Asset Performance Management and digital transformation provide a variety of digital technologies to help pipeline operators drive reduced costs and improved profits out of their operations. You can learn more in the digital transformation whitepaper. If you’re looking for expert assistance on how to start your pipeline organizations digital transformation through asset performance management, an APM Assessment can provide you with powerful tools and insight to help guide your journey.