Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

GE and Yokogawa partner on oil and gas management

Steve Rogerson
September 27, 2017



A partnership between subsidiaries of US giant GE and Japan’s Yokogawa Electric is combining process simulation, asset performance management and operational software for the oil and gas industry.
 
Baker Hughes, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of GE in July, and UK-based KBC, which was acquired by Yokogawa last year, are integrating their technologies to reduce bottlenecks in facilities, processes and equipment to improve production and lower risk.
 
Leveraging GE's industrial internet platform Predix, this partnership extends KBC's Petro-SIM process simulation modelling into the full-stream oil and gas value chain, and provides connectivity between operations, assets, people and business processes for end-to-end optimisation.
 
Integrating KBC technology with Baker Hughes' digital suite should help users optimise production. By integrating data analytics connected by seamless workflows between facilities and operations, the time spent to analyse operations should be reduced and the insight gained help increase production, reduce energy usage and improve product quality consistency.
 
"This partnership showcases our commitment to break down data silos, and is an ideal example of the convergence of process and operational thinking," said Matthias Heilmann, chief digital officer of Baker Hughes. "For the first time, oil and gas customers can build a digital twin of a plant, refinery or rig that incorporates end-to-end process and operational analytics and machine learning. With Petro-SIM providing simulation technology to our full-stream portfolio, this best-in-class solution will bring us into a new era of operational improvement."
 
The Petro-SIM simulation technology already connects to cloud-based industrial IoT data-as-a-service offerings to monitor remotely and help improve process operations. With full integration to commercial data historian and database systems, the technology offers a central repository for process topology, and stream and equipment data, with access to live and historical plant operating data for performance monitoring.
 
Asset performance management from GE enables intelligent asset strategies to help optimise performance to make operations safer by helping predict and prevent failures. It can answer critical questions on the history and current operation of an asset, as well as provide an answer to what actions should be taken to improve performance, mitigate risk and ensure overall operational safety and efficiency.
 
The integration of KBC process simulation and models with analytics, digital twins, full-stream software and Predix provides real-time congruence between the digital and physical worlds. A plant digital twin, enabled by this partnership, could provide a complete view of all equipment, operations and processes, comparing actual performance to expected outcomes, and enabling predictive actions. This plant twin can also enable efficient workforce management, allowing personnel to focus on critical plant operations.
 
"This game-changing combination will result in solutions for customers to quickly analyse problems and opportunities, and create insights that can then be turned into actions that will assure operational excellence, and sustainability, based on the Yokogawa approach of engaging in co-innovation with customers." said Andy Howell, CEO of KBC. "Together, we will deliver molecularly-enabled digital twins of assets across the full stream from wellbore through pipeline networks, topsides, gas plants, refineries and petro-chemical plants."