Survey reveals over 50% of remote operations are at risk


Aug 10, 2009

In May 2009, Apprion conducted a survey with Control Magazine on remote operations at various industrial facilities. Remote locations and devices at industrial facilities contain critical operational and equipment status data. Monitoring these locations and devices is essential for efficient, safe and secure operations.

The survey goal was to research if and how sites are monitoring and managing remote sites and devices. The resulting paper presents the data and research along with an analysis of how automating remote operations has been proven to drastically reduce costs and increase operational efficiency, safety and security. Key discoveries include: 

  • 55% of respondents are not monitoring their remote sites and devices
  • Of those 55% not monitoring remote sites, only 22% have plans to address it
  • Annual management cost per device is $175 with land line, $160 with manual and $65 with wireless
  • Over 54% of facilities surveyed are remotely monitoring more than 10 devices and more than 13% are remotely monitoring more than 100 devices

Industrial facilities must address how to monitor and manage their remote locations and devices. The list of potential locations, devices and equipment that can be monitored is very diverse to support the variety of applications and functions for operations. The respondent’s top eight device and location categories included the following:

  • Tanks 44%
  • Pumping Stations 43%
  • Compressors 34%
  • Emissions Monitoring Sensors 32%
  • Other Stranded PLCs 31%
  • Analyzers 30%
  • Skid Units 15%
  • Perimeter Security 15%

As the survey results indicated, 55% of the industrial sites do not monitor remotes sites and devices at all. And of those 55%, only 22% have plans to address the problem. Other facilities depend on time-consuming, costly manual methods for remote operations. Although better than no remote monitoring, manual data collection compromises plant safety, drastically reduces plant efficiencies and potentially places plant personnel in dangerous situations.

To read the entire report, visit