Chemical makers will see plant operating staff spending far less time collecting and managing data and far more time focusing on critical value-added work and decision-making, says Mark Granger, reliability solutions manager at Emerson Process Management, Knoxville, Tenn. In five years, the continued technology advancements that Emerson and other vendors are driving will result in more smart assets and systems that monitor themselves and their processes, he believes. Moreover, multiple groups within a company will take advantage of the embedded smart information from the plant. Predictive maintenance (PdM), condition monitoring, and asset performance details will become more closely integrated with control optimization and, thus, will play an increasing role in improving availability, throughput, health/safety/environmental (HSE) efforts, operations and maintenance, and plant life. “The boundaries between control, reliability, PdM, operations, safety and production are getting more blurry for the chemical plant of the future,” he stresses.
Efforts both by chemical makers and vendors are fostering this future.
For instance, Evonik, Essen, Germany, is focusing on using big data as a new digital process optimization tool — especially in terms of PdM.