Pedro Tavares (Fluor) with Paul Mitchell (Atlas RFID) described a ‘fit-for-purpose’ deployment of RFID* technology to provide material traceability during the construction of a Middle East refinery. The project involved some 150 suppliers in a joint venture that spanned locations in China, the Middle East and beyond. RFID technology has evolved from simple passive RFID tags into sophisticated geolocational sensors that provide accurate equipment location. While these are cheap, a SmarTrac tag costs 50 cents, with a million equipment items, these were prohibitively expensive. Instead, Flour went for passive tags and Atlas’ ‘Jovix’ tracking software. Equipment in the yard was surveyed by a scanner mounted on the security car during nightly rounds and tied in with the transaction log. The operation resulted in a 90% reduction in location time and a three month reduction in ‘schedule risk.’ When all the equipment was on-site, the EPC was asked if it wanted to keep the tags. They said, ‘no thanks’ and cut all the tags off! ‘A big lost opportunity for a world’s first, innovative tag-based construction project!’
Petter Mathisen (AGR Software) presented work for AkerBP on digital collaboration on Norway’s Ivar Aasen field. Most operator reports are delivered as PDF documents that ‘make structured information unstructured!’ Enter AGR’s Intelligent Well Data Management tool, iQX, a reporting database and its GeologiQ application that ‘plugs gap in current Norwegian reporting and data capture.’ An ‘open source’ database also ran, providing ‘basic analytics’ that found a lot of incomplete data that otherwise would probably not be touched before decommissioning.
Paul Vickery presented Silicon Migrogravity’s microchip-based gravity meter, co-developed with BP. SMG’s MEMS accelerometer measures gravity to one part in a billion and targets borehole applications. Vickery wondered aloud if his commercialization strategy should be selling sensors or the data to conclude that the latter was the preferable option. ‘It’s hard to generate billions by selling hardware. Better to target high value opportunities and sell the data!’ SMG was formed in 2014. Field trials scheduled for 2017 have slipped into 2018.
In an Accenture-led group discussion it emerged that none of the operators present had committed to a full scale IoT platform. Total is looking at GE Predix, Azure and Schneider Electric solutions but there may not be a single platform across the company. BP is using Predix for analytics on facilities but not necessarily elsewhere in the organization. OSIsoft observed that some companies are backtracking on the IoT platform concept which is not so easy as previously thought. Operators may deploy Predix on GE equipment but use an in-house ‘R’ environment for analytics. One experienced user opined that many IoT trials fail because ‘people don’t have a good underlying use case.’
More from Global Business Club.
* radio frequency ID tags.
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