Cover Story

We are at the in­ter­sec­tion of busi­ness and tech­nol­ogy strat­egy, es­pe­cially with the wave of digitalisation, in­clud­ing de­vel­op­ments like ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, In­dus­try 4.0, big data, aug­mented re­al­ity, ma­chine learn­ing, drones, etc., says Per Erik Holst

Refining & Petrochemicals Middle East - - CONTENTS - WORDS: MARTIN ME­NACH­ERY

We are at the in­ter­sec­tion of busi­ness and tech­nol­ogy strat­egy, es­pe­cially with the wave of digitalisation, in­clud­ing de­vel­op­ments like ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, In­dus­try 4.0, big data, etc., says

Per Erik Holsten of ABB

ABB – the Swiss-swedish tech­nol­ogy front-run­ner cre­at­ing the fu­ture of digitalisation in in­dus­try – holds a his­tory span­ning more than 130 years, op­er­ates in more than 100 coun­tries and em­ploys around 136,000 peo­ple. ABB’S op­er­a­tions are cen­tred at a com­plete range of digitalisation, au­toma­tion and elec­tri­cal tech­nolo­gies.

With a her­itage of more than four decades at the fore­front of dig­i­tal so­lu­tions, ABB is a pi­o­neer in dig­i­tally con­nected and en­abled in­dus­trial equip­ment and sys­tems. Re­fin­ing and petro­chem­i­cals in­dus­try units world­wide use the com­pany’s so­lu­tions, equip­ment, sys­tems and ser­vices for op­er­a­tional ex­cel­lence.

Per Erik Holsten heads ABB’S busi­ness unit for oil, gas and chem­i­cals in the in­dus­trial au­toma­tion di­vi­sion as the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor. Holsten started his ca­reer in ABB in 1986 as an en­gi­neer. He has an MBA in in­ter­na­tional busi­ness from the Uni­ver­sity of East Lon­don and stud­ied en­gi­neer­ing at South Tron­de­lag Uni­ver­sity Col­lege in Nor­way.

The global down­stream mar­ket is tak­ing sig­nif­i­cant strides to­wards growth af­ter a sev­eral-year pe­riod of low oil prices. With the dra­matic price drop, petro­chem­i­cal and re­fin­ing op­er­a­tors are look­ing to in­crease ef­fi­ciency and boost profit mar­gins. Holsten is spear­head­ing ABB’S drive to be the dig­i­tal part­ner of choice for in­dus­trial play­ers in the global down­stream land­scape.

“In most of our cus­tomer con­ver­sa­tions re­cently, re­gard­less whether it is with in­ter­na­tional oil com­pa­nies, or na­tional oil com­pa­nies, we hear ev­ery­body try­ing to sharpen their strate­gies around digitalisation and au­toma­tion and also the op­por­tu­ni­ties as­so­ci­ated with them,” says Holsten.

“We see a com­mon pat­tern in the way they think about dig­i­tal – all of them are talk­ing about im­prov­ing op­er­a­tions and sup­ply chain, and go­ing in for new busi­ness mod­els. Many down­stream com­pa­nies now have ded­i­cated in­no­va­tion cen­tres, or col­lab­o­ra­tive op­er­a­tion cen­tres. All of a sud­den, we see a very tra­di­tional in­dus­try gear­ing up to be in­no­va­tive,” Holsten adds.

There is a mas­sive im­pact of au­toma­tion and digitalisation in the re­fin­ing and petro­chem­i­cal in­dus­try. It is ad­van­ta­geous to go for big data and use it for bring­ing in value. It is a trans­for­ma­tion process. Most of the down­stream com­pa­nies ABB is work­ing with are look­ing at op­ti­mi­sa­tion of plant pro­duc­tiv­ity. By col­lect­ing data, and us­ing bet­ter data al­go­rithms, it is pos­si­ble to find po­ten­tial prob­lems in a re­fin­ery, or a petro­chem­i­cal plant.

ABB’S key digitalisation so­lu­tions

With a her­itage of more than four decades at the fore­front of dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies, ABB is a pi­o­neer in dig­i­tally con­nected and en­abled in­dus­trial equip­ment and sys­tems. The com­pany is on a jour­ney to un­lock pro­duc­tiv­ity po­ten­tials for its cus­tomers through dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies.

“We are prob­ing ever-new ways on how we can use tech­nol­ogy ad­vances to im­prove on cost, sched­ule and risk in projects. The core of this ob­jec­tive is our ‘In­tel­li­gent Projects’, where we see a po­ten­tial to re­duce both the cap­i­tal and op­er­a­tional costs by 20% to 30%, com­pared to the con­ven­tional way of do­ing au­toma­tion projects,” ex­plains Holsten.

An im­por­tant in­gre­di­ent of ABB’S In­tel­li­gent Projects is a re­dun­dant Eth­er­net-based sin­gle chan­nel I/O sys­tem called ‘Se­lect I/O’ that the com­pany has de­vel­oped and is a tech­nol­ogy which comes with great cus­tomer ben­e­fits. It pro­vides ef­fi­ciency improve­ment

for au­toma­tion projects, as well as faster start-ups while de­creas­ing com­plex­ity, project de­lays and cost over­runs.

‘ABB Abil­ity Sys­tem 800xa’ is an­other ex­am­ple that pro­vides a se­cure way of con­nect­ing ABB’S cus­tomers to the op­por­tu­ni­ties of IIOT (In­dus­trial In­ter­net of Things) ser­vices and the ex­per­tise it of­fers. It sets the stan­dard in au­toma­tion en­gi­neer­ing with the new tech­nolo­gies and method­ol­ogy for faster and more cost-ef­fi­cient project ex­e­cu­tion.

‘ABB Abil­ity Col­lab­o­ra­tive Op­er­a­tions’ con­nects ABB’S cus­tomers in pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties and head­quar­ters with ABB ex­perts around the globe and ul­ti­mately changes how they work to­gether. As­set and op­er­a­tional in­for­ma­tion is col­lected and an­a­lysed 24/7 at ‘Col­lab­o­ra­tive Op­er­a­tions’ cen­tres to iden­tify, cat­e­gorise and pri­ori­tise ac­tions that help pre­vent fail­ures and make the busi­nesses of ABB’S cus­tomers more prof­itable.

On the sen­sor side, the de­vel­op­ments ABB made in in­stru­men­ta­tion and an­a­lyt­i­cal ar­eas are con­tribut­ing to mak­ing bet­ter process data avail­able in a real-time en­vi­ron­ment so that the op­er­a­tor gets a more in­formed per­spec­tive on where the process ac­tu­ally stands.

“We spend al­most $1.5bn on R&D ev­ery year. ‘ABB Abil­ity’, our dig­i­tal port­fo­lio, is one of the prime fo­cus ar­eas for our R&D en­deav­ours. It pro­vides a full-range of dig­i­tal so­lu­tions that help cus­tomers man­age com­plex­ity. From equip­ment con­di­tion mon­i­tor­ing to full-fledged col­lab­o­ra­tive op­er­a­tions, ‘ABB Abil­ity’ of­fers more than 280 tried and tested so­lu­tions across var­i­ous in­dus­tries,” Holsten claims.

“The Mid­dle East re­mains a strong fo­cus for us. The re­gion ac­counts for 20% to 25% of our global busi­ness vol­ume. With a raft of in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ences to draw from, we feel that the re­gion could ben­e­fit from tech­nolo­gies that have al­ready proved suc­cess­ful else­where.” Per Erik Holsten, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, busi­ness unit for oil, gas and chem­i­cals, in­dus­trial au­toma­tion di­vi­sion, ABB

The Mid­dle East story

The up­take of new tech­nol­ogy for down­stream sec­tor by cus­tomers in the Mid­dle East is ad­mirable. The re­gion is ahead in the tech­nol­ogy curve and is hun­gry for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the lat­est tech­nol­ogy.

The best ex­am­ple to pick is Sadara Chem­i­cal Com­pany, a joint ven­ture de­vel­oped by Saudi Aramco and Dow in Oc­to­ber 2011. With an in­vest­ment of over $20bn, Sadara is poised to change the game in the Mid­dle East’s chem­i­cal in­dus­try. The com­plete au­toma­tion and elec­tri­cal sys­tem for Sadara was very com­plex, and was cen­tral to the suc­cess of the whole fa­cil­ity. ABB’S strengths in these ar­eas led it be­ing the Main Au­toma­tion Con­trac­tor for the project.

“The re­gion is cer­tainly keen on tak­ing on board new tech­nolo­gies when they make

good busi­ness sense. It can be ei­ther a trend set­ter, or a trend fol­lower but in gen­eral, we cer­tainly see a will­ing­ness and a gen­uine ap­petite to use new tech­nolo­gies to im­prove out­comes, to give them more up­time, more pro­duc­tion out­put, and bet­ter pro­duc­tiv­ity. If you have the right tech­nol­ogy that ac­tu­ally de­liv­ers the de­sired out­come, then cus­tomers are cer­tainly very in­ter­ested in it,” re­veals Holsten.

“We are see­ing a lot of growth here in the Mid­dle East. For in­stance, SATORP, a joint ven­ture be­tween Saudi Aramco and To­tal, started ship­ments from its 400,000 bar­rels per day Jubail re­fin­ery in Septem­ber 2016. This is just one of the three such mas­sive fa­cil­i­ties planned by the king­dom. Other Mid­dle East­ern oil pro­duc­ing coun­tries are also adding re­fin­ing ca­pac­i­ties, in­clud­ing the UAE, Kuwait and Oman.”

“The Mid­dle East re­mains a strong fo­cus for us. The re­gion ac­counts for 20% to 25% of our global busi­ness vol­ume. With a raft of in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ences to draw from, we feel that the re­gion could ben­e­fit from tech­nolo­gies that have al­ready proved suc­cess­ful else­where,” opines Holsten.

Next level of ef­fi­ciency, safety and se­cu­rity

The ap­proach of down­stream in­dus­try to dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is evo­lu­tion­ary rather than rev­o­lu­tion­ary. How­ever, de­vel­op­ments in tech­nolo­gies such as the cloud, data man­age­ment, big data and an­a­lyt­ics are driv­ing trends that have im­mense po­ten­tial for re­fin­ing and petro­chem­i­cal sec­tor.

“Bet­ter con­nected re­finer­ies and plants with ac­cu­rate and timely in­for­ma­tion means com­pa­nies are poised to take their per­for­mance and pro­duc­tiv­ity to the next level of ef­fi­ciency, safety and se­cu­rity. In­creas­ingly, cost-ef­fec­tive dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy fa­cil­i­tates im­proved mon­i­tor­ing, more col­lab­o­ra­tive and in­te­grated op­er­a­tions and re­mote man­age­ment to drive greater pro­duc­tiv­ity at re­duced costs and risks,” Holsten re­marks.

Net­work-con­nected as­sets, when thor­oughly in­te­grated, can sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove risk, sched­ule and costs in new projects as well as brown­field sites. For ex­am­ple, ABB is work­ing on pro­vid­ing a dig­i­tal end-to-end so­lu­tion to Ger­man chem­i­cal com­pany BASF at their largest in­te­grated site, which goes from wire­less sen­sors up to ad­vanced an­a­lyt­ics and an en­ter­prise dash­board for a fleet of ro­tat­ing as­sets.

The so­lu­tion aims to run com­plex fleet di­ag­nos­tic al­go­rithms to im­prove the over­all fleet op­er­a­tion. This sup­ports BASF op­er­a­tions to im­prove main­te­nance by de­tect­ing fault be­fore fail­ure, thereby of­fer­ing an al­ter­na­tive so­lu­tion to im­prove pre­dic­tive main­te­nance.

A proven down­stream track record

ABB has worked with many cus­tomers in the down­stream sec­tor, in­clud­ing global down­stream com­pa­nies like Yi­tai, Lanxess, Saudi Aramco, Dow, BASF, Arkema, Wacker Chemie, Trin­seo, SABIC and Petro­bras, and ma­jor EPC con­trac­tors like Petro­fac, Tech­nip and Saipem.

ABB col­lab­o­rated with Trin­seo to cre­ate CAFÉ soft­ware, which au­to­mates the process of cre­at­ing MS Ex­cel-based func­tional spec­i­fi­ca­tions for green­field and mi­gra­tion projects. It uses a pro­ce­dural au­toma­tion-based con­trol phi­los­o­phy to turn func­tional spec­i­fi­ca­tions into con­trol ap­pli­ca­tions in the ‘ABB Abil­ity Sys­tem 800xa’.

In par­tic­u­lar, it builds a re­verse-en­gi­neered func­tional spec­i­fi­ca­tion from the ob­ject-based legacy code. CAFÉ can be used to main­tain code and pro­vide up­dated de­sign doc­u­ments through­out the life­cy­cle of a plant go­ing for­ward.

Arkema was look­ing to fix in­ef­fi­cien­cies in its boiler op­er­a­tions at its Ken­tucky plant. The fea­tured equip­ment was many decades old; ABB used a dig­i­tal fin­ger­print anal­y­sis to ex­am­ine the con­di­tion of hard­ware and con­trols, tested the sta­bil­ity and op­er­a­tion of site’s boil­ers, per­formed com­bus­tion load tri­als, and ex­e­cuted dy­namic step re­sponse tests. This re­sulted in re­duced OPEX sav­ings for the plant through en­ergy sav­ings.

Wacker Chemie wanted to in­crease the op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency of its 30-year old Bavar­ian ketene crack­ing plant in or­der to in­crease op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency and move from planned and re­ac­tive main­te­nance to pre­dic­tive in­ter­ven­tions based on the ac­tual state of the equip­ment.

“Us­ing ‘Ser­vi­ce­port’ tech­nol­ogy, re­motely and on­site, to an­a­lyse Wacker’s com­plete au­toma­tion sys­tem and con­trol loops, ABB’S dig­i­tal so­lu­tion saved sig­nif­i­cant anal­y­sis time, fa­cil­i­tat­ing faster cor­rec­tive ac­tion with less down­time risk and 20% OPEX sav­ings,” men­tions Holsten.

Jour­ney of in­no­va­tions span­ning 75 years

The world of tech­nol­ogy is evolv­ing rapidly. Be­ing suc­cess­ful re­quires a com­mit­ment to con­tin­u­ous in­no­va­tion. Be­sides the nu­mer­ous break­throughs cre­ated in its own labs, ABB also pur­sues what is known as open in­no­va­tion.

“We are scout­ing for, in­vest­ing in, and form­ing part­ner­ships with in­no­va­tive startup op­por­tu­ni­ties around the world, es­pe­cially in the emerg­ing fields in ar­eas such as ma­chine learn­ing, dis­trib­uted en­ergy and in­tel­li­gent build­ings,” Holsten ob­serves.

ABB Tech­nol­ogy Ven­tures (ATV), the com­pany’s strate­gic ven­ture cap­i­tal in­vest­ment arm, is part of ABB’S R&D or­gan­i­sa­tion. Head­quar­tered in Switzer­land and with of­fices in Sil­i­con Val­ley and In­dia, ATV iden­ti­fies start-ups that have the po­ten­tial to be lead­ers in their sec­tor and thus drive strate­gic value for ABB. Once ATV has mapped out how the start-up can be ben­e­fi­cial to ABB, it will in­vest eq­uity in the start-up, pur­chas­ing up to 20% of the com­pany with in­vest­ments rang­ing from $250,000 to $20mn.

Suc­cess­ful in­no­va­tion in­te­grates what is pos­si­ble with what is nec­es­sary, thereby yield­ing the great­est busi­ness value. ABB fo­cuses on iden­ti­fy­ing those needs, and trans­form­ing them into op­por­tu­ni­ties, es­pe­cially in en­ergy and other mis­sion crit­i­cal in­dus­tries that want to work faster, and more flex­i­bly, re­spon­si­bly, and prof­itably like the oil, gas and chem­i­cal in­dus­try.

“Mod­ern pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties must man­age costs, en­sure safety, main­tain prod­uct qual­ity and meet sus­tain­abil­ity goals while also ac­com­mo­dat­ing faster pro­duc­tion rates, shorter prod­uct cy­cle times, un­ex­pected changes in the mar­ket and spe­cial re­quests for prod­uct vari­ants,” de­clares Holsten.

These chal­lenges can be met by ag­ile man­u­fac­tur­ing, which is a pro­duc­tion phi­los­o­phy that con­cen­trates on fast re­ac­tion to un­pre­dictable and rapid changes in the prod­uct land­scape by in­tro­duc­ing bet­ter in­te­gra­tion be­tween busi­ness-level re­source plan­ning and lo­cal process con­trols.

‘ABB Abil­ity Man­u­fac­tur­ing Op­er­a­tions Man­age­ment’ is a com­pre­hen­sive, scal­able and mod­u­lar suite that en­ables man­u­fac­tur­ing to be­come more re­spon­sive and adap­tive by con­nect­ing the peo­ple, as­sets and sys­tems in­volved in the pro­duc­tion process.

The ‘ABB Abil­ity Smart Sen­sor’ is a ground­break­ing prod­uct de­vel­oped for mon­i­tor­ing and analysing con­di­tion pa­ram­e­ters on ro­tat­ing mo­tors. The so­lu­tion can re­duce down­time by 70%, ex­tend mo­tor life­time by up to 30%, and re­duce en­ergy con­sump­tion by up to 10%.

It en­ables ef­fec­tive de­ci­sion-mak­ing and re­li­able, lean pro­duc­tion ex­e­cu­tion by fully in­te­grated op­er­a­tions. ABB re­lies on ‘Man­u­fac­tur­ing Op­er­a­tions Man­age­ment’ to sup­port lean and ag­ile prin­ci­ples in more than 60 of its own man­u­fac­tur­ing plants world­wide.

ABB can look back at 75 years of in­no­va­tion in the field of con­tin­u­ous gas anal­y­sis – work­ing to im­prove pro­duc­tion ef­fi­ciency and mea­sure­ment per­for­mance. In­tro­duced in 2017, ABB’S new ‘Mag­nos28’ para­m­ag­netic oxy­gen anal­yser with its pa­tent-pend­ing mi­crow­ing tech­nol­ogy, is the all-in-one sen­sor de­vice lever­ag­ing ABB’S tech­nol­ogy lead­er­ship. It is the new­est prod­uct in the pal­ette of the ‘Ad­vance Op­tima’ and ‘Ea­sy­line’ con­tin­u­ous gas anal­yser series.

The ‘ABB Abil­ity Smart Sen­sor’ is a ground­break­ing prod­uct de­vel­oped for mon­i­tor­ing and analysing con­di­tion pa­ram­e­ters on ro­tat­ing mo­tors. The so­lu­tion can re­duce down­time by 70%, ex­tend mo­tor life­time by up to 30%, and re­duce en­ergy con­sump­tion by up to 10%.

ABB was re­cently named #8 in For­tune mag­a­zine’s ‘Change the World’ rank­ings for the com­pany’s ef­forts to speed up adop­tion of clean-en­ergy elec­tric tran­spor­ta­tion.

The dig­i­tal road ahead

Au­toma­tion done in the right way will fur­ther im­prove the up­time, pro­duc­tiv­ity, en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and safety in process in­dus­tries.

“At ABB, we have fully in­vested in im­prov­ing au­toma­tion ex­cel­lence for our cus­tomers. In fact, ABB is set to in­vest $118mn in Aus­tria to build a state-of-the-art in­no­va­tion and train­ing cam­pus at the home of B&R In­dus­trial Au­toma­tion,” Holsten con­firms.

“It is the largest or­ganic in­vest­ment in in­dus­trial au­toma­tion in ABB’S more than 130-year his­tory and lays the foun­da­tion for around 1,000 new high-tech jobs in Aus­tria. The new in­no­va­tion and train­ing cam­pus will de­velop tech­nolo­gies for the fac­tory of the fu­ture, based on ‘ABB Abil­ity’, in which pro­duc­tion will be un­der­taken au­tonomously by smart and cloud-con­nected ma­chines and ro­bots,” tes­ti­fies Holsten.

“I fore­see a mas­sive im­pact of au­toma­tion and digitalisation in the re­finer­ies and petro­chem­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties by 2025. We will reach much fur­ther down the road in our tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ment in terms of not only con­nect­ing sys­tems but also run­ning them in a col­lab­o­ra­tive way with an in­creas­ing de­gree of au­ton­omy,” Holsten con­cludes.

As­set and op­er­a­tional in­for­ma­tion is col­lected and an­a­lysed 24/7 at ‘Col­lab­o­ra­tive Op­er­a­tions’ cen­tres to iden­tify, cat­e­gorise and pri­ori­tise ac­tions that help pre­vent fail­ures and make the busi­nesses of ABB’S cus­tomers more prof­itable.

Bet­ter con­nected re­finer­ies and plants with ac­cu­rate and timely in­for­ma­tion means com­pa­nies are poised to take their per­for­mance and pro­duc­tiv­ity to the next level of ef­fi­ciency, safety and se­cu­rity.

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