Showing posts with label IIoT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IIoT. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 01, 2024

'Partnering for the future' at OPTIMIZE24

The second and final day of the main conference program at OPTIMIZE24 has now concluded. It started with an early morning primer on the energy transition challenge from geologist, documentary filmmaker and founder of the Switch Energy Alliance Scott Tinker. 

This set attendees up for an insightful panel discussion on navigating net zero hosted by AspenTech's Chief Product & Sustainability Officer Rasha Hasaneen. She was joined by fellow panellists Andre Argenton, Chief Sustainability Officer at Dow, Suresh Kotha, Chief Information Officer at SMUD,  Darryl Willis, Corporate Vice President, Energy & Resources Industry at Microsoft, Zhanna Golodryga, Executive Vice President, Emerging Energy and Sustainability at Phillips 66, Aqil Jamal, Chief Technologist, Carbon Management Research Division at Aramco, and Mike Train, Chief Sustainability Officer at Emerson. 

The hour-long discussion that followed dwelt on how digitization and collaboration in the energy and industrial complex remain crucial to navigating net zero challenges and achieving a just energy transition by tackling the energy trilemma (of sustainability, security and affordability). 

Summing up, Hasaneen noted that existing digitalization tools may hold many of the answers, while innovations - like artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing - may enable a more consistent adoption across both traditional and emerging energy sectors. 

Ultimately, as the AspenTech sustainability head noted: "Technologies do exist to make the world greener and cleaner, willpower and collaboration is what's needed." Or in other words - all parties need to "partner for the future."

Elsewhere, over the course of the day, this blogger heard interesting sessions touching on cybersecurity best practices for operational technology, how AspenTech solutions are being deployed for automating well production, flaring and downtime reduction in the Permian basin, performance engineering for petrochemicals and the company's solutions for supporting the wider hydrogen industry. 

Away from it all, the Oilholic was delighted to host thought leadership videos for AspenTech at OPTIMIZE24 with several of the company's key movers and shakers including Hasaneen (pictured above). The software company's strategic partners and clients also participated in the exercise.

They included senior executives from EY, Accenture, Wood, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Westlake, TenneT and SMUD. The videos will be posted soon on AspenTech's and their partners' commercial and social channels. So watch this space folks!

And finally, the Oilholic shares with you a glimpse of the event's really cool "smart" lanyard. How so? Well the mini device attached to the strap, carried yours truly's event sessions preferences, and flashed a reminder each time they were due to start. Not only that, touching / syncing it with a fellow attendee's lanyard exchanged mutual contact details! All very, very handy and innovative! And that alas is it for the latest edition of OPTIMIZE. 

All that remains is to thank the wonderful Team AspenTech for putting on a fabulous and insightful event in Houston, and for their warm hospitality. Here's to the next installment in the very near future. More musings to follow soon after the flight home to London. Keep reading, keep it here, keep it 'crude'! 

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© Gaurav Sharma 2024. Photo I: 'Navigating net zero' panel at AspenTech's OPTIMIZE24 on May 1, 2024 in Houston, Texas, US. © Gaurav Sharma 2024. Photo II: Gaurav Sharma recording an AspenTech thought leadership video with Rasha Hasaneen, the company's Chief Product & Sustainability Officer on May 1, 2024. © Pete Yagmin /AspenTech 2024. Photo III: OPTIMIZE24's smart lanyard. © Gaurav Sharma 2024.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Revisiting 'EcoStruxure' At Schneider Electric's Innovation Summit

Earlier this month the Oilholic had the pleasure of attending a Schneider Electric event after a gap of nearly six years - the company's Innovation Summit in Paris, France. 

A lot has happened since this blogger last attended a Schneider event. The inimitable Jean-Pascal Tricoire has moved on from being CEO to the Chairman of the company, with former AVEVA boss Peter Herweck now in the boss' chair. 

But one constant has been the company's relentless development and marketing of its Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) architecture - EcoStruxure - conceived to deliver "smart" automation and digitization solutions within the energy sphere for a plethora of industrial, manufacturing and processing clients. 

So it was a pleasure to receive two use case demonstrations of how the product suite is being applied and has evolved since the turn of the decade. For this blogger, the company's EcoStruxure Automation Expert, a software-centric industrial automation system, and EcoStruxure Hybrid Distributed Control System  (formerly branded as PlantStruxure PES), a single automation system to engineer, operate, and maintain a plant's entire infrastructure, stood out amidst a sea of solutions and myriad use cases. 

These were use cases for a "sustainable, productive and market-agile" future that the company envisions for the wider industrial and manufacturing complex, according to CEO Herweck, who in his keynote, noted that: "Being more electrical, being more digital, means being more efficient."

And "Digital + Electric = A Sustainable Future" was the simple equation put forward by Herweck for a world facing the complex issue of managing carbon emissions. 

Here's a Forbes report summing up Herweck's comments in Paris. It was also revealed at the Innovation Summit that Schneider Electric was driving up its R&D spend from 5.4% to around 8% of headline revenue. The company is also practicing what it preaches by converting key facilities into the very sort of "smart factories" it is recommending to the world, something the Oilholic intends to revisit later down the year.  

Elsewhere, your truly also got to grips with a number of fascinating home energy management software solutions and applications alongside battery inverters (used as a way to control flow of electricity in residential properties) and allied smart home concepts. 

Commercial power management software and hardware, grid operations software, artificial intelligence (AI) powered monitoring systems, datacenter cooling systems, and electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure displays and demos at the exhibition floor completed an interesting and informative visit. 

Or a glimpse of a digitized and electrified horizon, as the company's C-Suites and public relations executives will tell you! And on that note, its time to say goodbye. More musings to follow soon. Keep reading, keep it here, keep it 'crude'! 

Additional note 25.04.24: Here's yours truly's recently published interview with Barbara Frei, Executive Vice President, Industrial Automation at Schneider Electric following a meeting in Paris. 

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© Gaurav Sharma 2024. Photo I: A Schneider Electric EcoStruxure display at the company's Innovation Summit in Paris, France. Photo II: Schneider Electric CEO Peter Herweck delivering his keynote. Photo III: Sustainability message dominated proceedings, Apr 3-4, 2024. © Gaurav Sharma 2024.

Friday, March 29, 2024

All missives from CERAWeek 2024

With CERAWeek 2024, organised by S&P Global, drawing to a close last week, the Oilholic marked a fascinating and engaging week for the energy markets with a number of pieces for Forbes as well as daily blog posts. 

Here are the Forbes pieces:

  • Aramco Investing ‘Big Time’ In Renewables But CEO Slams ‘Fantasy’ Of Phasing Out Oil And Gas, March 18, 2024.
  • Oil Is Nearing 5-Month Highs And Its Not Just About Supply Fears, March 18, 2024.
  • What Will Oil Demand Look Like In 10 Years And When Might A ‘Peak’ Occur?, March 20, 2024.
  • Why Bill Gates Reckons Houston May Become The ‘Silicon Valley Of Energy’, March 24, 2024.
  • Global LNG Market: Sliding Prices In 2024, Rising Opportunities By 2030?, March 27, 2024.
  • Energy Transition: Challenge Of Financing And Investing In A $6 Trillion Megatrend, March 28, 2024.
All blog entries for each CERAWeek day may be found here

And that's a wrap. More musings to follow soon. Keep reading, keep it here, keep it 'crude'! 

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© Gaurav Sharma 2024. 

Friday, March 15, 2024

Chat on software-led sustainability with AVEVA's CEO

Earlier this month, The Oilholic had the pleasure of visiting industrial software firm AVEVA's London office for a long overdue meeting with its Chief Executive Officer Caspar Herzberg.

Theme(s) of the riveting discussion, which extended way beyond the time allocated, touched on the proliferation of AI, IIoT, digital twin tech, big data and predictive analytics in the energy industry. 

All have been exponentially deployed in recent years by major energy operators conscious of their carbon footprint. Many have done so in partnership with AVEVA and the pace of adoption is only going to accelerate. 

The top 20 oil and gas companies by market capitalisation have all pledged to achieve net zero by 2050, as well as eliminate routine gas flaring by 2030, and are incrementally turning to tech solutions that AVEVA and its competitors are happy to provide. 

Herzberg told The Oilholic: "The energy majors have rapidly come around to the viewpoint that optimisation enabled by software serves the purpose(s) of improving their throughput and operating margins, reducing downtime as well as lowering their carbon footprint. 

"I also think most energy majors are now subject to significant societal pressure to lower their carbon footprint. This pressure is only going to increase. And every summer it will be ever more pressing, especially in liberal democracies where citizens are free to express their opinion and see climate change as a key concern."

It is here that the true potential of "connected solutions" may indeed be realized by the energy sector (and beyond) driven by continually improving corporate efficiencies and returns in tandem. "I would say that connected software makes things that are already possible, quicker, and frees people up to deal with more pressing issues in the value chain, rather than routine, but time-consuming tasks."

"Ultimately, AI, IIoT, digital twins, big data and analytics are all purposeful tools but at their inner core is data centricity – essentially, talking hold of data and getting value out of it."

The possibilities are infinite for the energy firms both large and small, Herzberg said. AI driven carbon capture, physics-based simulation, predictive asset optimization, streamlining processes for a green hydrogen future, making the power grid more resilient and reducing refinery or plant downtime are just some of the use cases, the AVEVA boss noted, while personally and very kindly showing yours truly a simulation on an absolutely ginormous screen. 

Away from exclusive snippets for this blog, do read The Oilholic's interview with Herzberg for Forbes here. It offers a much wider perspective on AVEVA and Herzberg's strategy for the business in the energy sector and beyond, and the company's very vocal stance on improving process efficiencies in the wider industrial world's march to a low-to-zero carbon future. Well, that's all for the moment folks, more musings to follow soon. Keep reading, keep it here, keep it 'crude'! 

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© Gaurav Sharma 2024. Photo: Gaurav Sharma with Caspar Herzberg, Chief Executive Officer of AVEVA© AVEVA, March 2024. 

Wednesday, November 01, 2023

The challenge of producing more industrially with less

Last week The Oilholic had a hectic, but fruitful and amazing trip to AVEVA World 2023 in San Francisco. Much of the discussion at the event was about one profound question - how to do more with less for the energy and industrials complex, and finding answers via the deployment of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), industrial internet of things (IIoT), digital twins and enhanced data analytics. 

From the standpoint of the hosts - industrial software solutions and consulting firm AVEVA - the pathway forward is all about creating a connected industrial ecosystem. One that offers a gateway to an unlimited world of data analytics, including third party analytics, with everything focused on one key priority - how to efficiently, safely and diligently improve throughput whilst using less energy and resources.

AVEVA's corporate take goes along the lines of "working to build a new industrial ecosystem, defined by agility, resilience and sustainability. By connecting [clients'] teams with trusted information and insights, powered by the cloud, and finding new ways to deliver life’s essentials – while driving responsible use of the world’s resources."

You deploy solutions to do that, and by default you lower your carbon footprint - a mantra this blogger saw repeated often by the company executives from the exhibition floor to the main auditorium, from keynotes to panel discussions, and much else in between. 

While AVEVA's age-old business mainstay may well have been in the oil and gas business, today it provides software solutions for most segments of the global commerce and industry all of which are under pressure to lower their carbon footprint. In keeping with this, the event had several breakout streams and content on a range of subjects. 

These included sessions for process industries (chemicals, pulp and paper, manufacturing, etc.), infrastructure, power and utilities, and of course oil, gas and energy. Each of these touched on advanced solutions and practices for improving efficiencies and finding that low to zero carbon horizon. And if numbers are your thing, we're talking more than a dozen industry tracks, keynotes, and an immersive expo.

There was also plenty of chatter on deriving multifaceted value from AI, and viewing it as an ally or enabler rather than a threat. Both AVEVA and its customers, including the likes of Mitsubishi Power, Yinson and Henkel, appeared to be pretty candid about the constructive deployment of AI. Read more about it in The Oilholic's latest Forbes post here

In summation, to quote AVEVA CEO Caspar Herzberg (pictured here at an analysts' briefing on October 25, seated third from left): "The true benefits go beyond the numbers: connected digital insight and technologies enable you to turn volatility into commercial opportunity by transforming industrial production into digital insights, so you can boost efficiency, resilience, and sustainable impact, and realize your boldest aspirations."

Part of being bold or having bold aspirations - especially for the energy, oil and gas sector - is embracing the technological solutions of our age provided by the likes of AVEVA, and of course, its peers. Going by the interest AVEVA's software products suite generated in San Francisco and the number of energy players in town, The Oilholic reckons that the message is cutting through big time. Well that's all for now folks. Keep reading, keep it here, keep it 'crude'!

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To email: journalist_gsharma@yahoo.co.uk  

© Gaurav Sharma 2023. Photo 1: AVEVA logo at the AVEVA World 2023 Conference, Moscone Center, San Francisco, US. Photo 2: AVEVA World 2023 Expo Floor. Photo 3: AVEVA CEO Caspar Herzberg (third from left) speaking at an analysts' briefing at AVEVA World 2023© Gaurav Sharma October 24-25, 2023. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Glimpses of GMIS 2021

As we embark on a post-COVID journey, it is heartening to note that energy, industry and manufacturing events are gradually returning to the physical format with all of us having had enough of endless Zoom conferences in lockdown. One such signature fixture that's back with a bang is the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), established in 2015, to further dialogues on the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s transformative potential. 

A joint initiative between United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology of the United Arab Emirates, GMIS 2021 has returned to the physical format from November 22 to 27, 2021 in Dubai alongside the Dubai Expo 2020. Here are some glimpses of the ongoing event: 

Dubai Exhibition Centre where GMIS & Expo 2020 are being held
'Make it in the Emirates' & GMIS2021 going hand in hand 
US Climate Envoy John Kerry (right) & ADNOC CEO Sultan Al Jaber get the lowdown on RoboRace car at GMIS2021

CEO of Mubadala Khaldoon Al Mubarak tells US journalist John Defterios that the UAE is going big on AI investment

Vision of making Dubai a solar powered City


© Gaurav Sharma 2021. Photo © Gaurav Sharma, November 23, 2021.

Monday, November 11, 2019

ADIPEC Day I: Oil & Gas 4.0, efficiencies & VIPs

The Oilholic finds himself in the UAE for the 2019 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC), rounding up day one of the global event with more than a packed agenda to report back.

Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ANDOC) got things going on Monday noting how Industry 4.0 is creating a "paradigm shift in global growth and energy demand."

"Oil and gas will play, as an essential part of the broader energy mix, in enabling tomorrow’s global economy. We have to admit some realities - our industry is being disrupted by new technologies, new forms of energy, a new geopolitical order. This disruption is only beginning and will gather pace," he added. 

Rubbing shoulders with attendees, expected to number 150,000 over the next few days, were several VIPs both foreign and domestic, and day one included sessions with the OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo, Indian oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, BP Boss Bob Dudley, Eni’s Claudio Descalzi, and Total’s Patrick Pouyann√© to name a few.

And former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told ADIPEC attendees the post World War II "established" economic model "is under strain [and] threat" from terrorism, cyber threats & global power rivalries. 

Away from the VIPs, quite a bit of "Oil and Gas 4.0" kit was on display alongside hydrogen cars, automation equipment and analytics platforms for integrated asset management, interspersed with nuts, bolts and pipeline joints.

Finally, day one was also timed to coincide with the official launch of the Abu Dhabi oil futures, that sees ADNOC partner with exchange group ICE, major oil companies, refiners and trading house Vitol.

The idea is an ambitious one of establishing Murban – Abu Dhabi's signature crude – as a potential oil benchmark. Here is some background to the development from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. (MS Word Download here)

Elsewhere, at the ADIPEC Awards, BP's Dudley, who is due to retire as the oil and gas major's CEO next year, was awarded a lifetime achievement award for his commitment to the energy industry.

That's all for the moment folks, more from here over the coming days. The Oilholic will be moderating and speaking on days two and three as the event gathers further momentum. Keep reading, keep it ‘crude’!

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© Gaurav Sharma 2019. Photo I: Exhibition Hall at ADIPEC 2019. Photo II: Drone on display at ADIPEC exhibition © Gaurav Sharma 2019. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

All about ‘EcoStruxure’ for Schneider Electric

The Oilholic finds himself at Schneider Electric's North America Innovation Summit 2018, here in Atlanta, stateside, and what a first day its been. North America accounts for nearly 27% of the global energy management and automation giant's headline business, and is home to several of its innovation hubs, making Atlanta a perfect place for the latest round of its innovation summit series. 

Unsurprisingly, the company is using the occasion to reveal several new announcements, the most eye-catching of which (so far) has to be the launch of a dedicated venture capital funding arm. The unit called Schneider Electric Ventures would have around €500 million of dry power to invest in new tech ventures (See The Oilholic’s detailed report for Forbes here). 

But the buzzword for the event is – 'EcoStruxure' – Schneider Electric's Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) architecture conceived to deliver "smart machine" solutions within the energy sphere. To quote the company's Chairman and CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire if you still haven't heard about it by the time the event comes to a conclusion, well you really haven't been here. 

EcoStruxure's innovative pathways run along five slants. First there's EcoStruxure Power, a solution that deploys the IIoT premise to strengthen power management capabilities with advanced monitoring and analytics. It is also designed to improve operational safety, reliability and efficiency. 

Then there's EcoStruxure Machine to deliver advanced smart machine solutions, including connectivity, control, tracking and monitoring.

You'd be surprised if there wasn't an EcoStruxure IT platform, which you've probably guessed is a cloud-based solution for improved monitoring and visibility across the entire data center ecosystem.

EcoStruxure Grid solution is where you'll find Schneider Electric in its element as an industry leader; the solution is an enhanced microgrid offering aimed at maximising "onsite renewable energy penetration and simplify power management."


And finally, EcoStruxure Building offers to fortify occupant engagement, optimise space utilisation better and empower personalised environments. For Schneider Electric, the direction of travel is clear – IIoT need not be a phantasm. It's here, it's now, it's accessible via EcoStruxure solutions, says Tricoire.

In his keynote address to over 1,400 attendees, the boss added: "How IoT will change things meaningfully is yet to be written, the journey is just starting. But at the same time IoT is more accessible that you think. We will continue to introduce new additions to the EcoStruxure architecture in step with the digital transformation of industrial automation markets."

Analysts here, including yours truly, believe we'll get more of the same from the company, with its connected products, edge control software, apps, analytics, and services, and more. It is the inexorable direction of travel in a digital economy. 

And Tricoire rightly notes that digital is not a zero-sum game. That means collaboration between energy and utility sector clients will bring about an integrated approach to energy management, and the boss' favourite topic – greater energy supply reliability and efficiency. 

Tricoire also said data and energy go hand in glove. "Major demand and consumption growth of electricity is coming from the proliferation of IT and datacentres. Nearly every new innovation uses electricity." 

So expect plenty more innovations under the EcoStruxure umbrella. And well, on a day both Brent and West Texas Intermediate oil futures contracts are down by over 7%, Tricoire says Schneider Electric sees "enormous opportunities" with the world moving from a largely fossil fuel-driven economy to an electrified economy! Bring in the noise people! That's all from Atlanta folks! Keep reading, keep it crude!

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© Gaurav Sharma 2018. Photo 1: Schneider Electric Chairman and CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire addresses the company' Innovation Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Photo 2: Schneider Electric Summit's Innovation Hub. © Gaurav Sharma Nov 13, 2018.