By Peter Reynolds, Energy and Chemicals Analyst, ARC Advisory Group and Paul Miller, Content Director, ARC Advisory Group
Yokogawa has established a solid reputation as a global provider of digital automation technology and associated services. The addition of KBC with its recently added Industrial Evolution, Inc. IT/IIoT solutions and Soteica Visual Mesa energy management and supply chain optimization capabilities, greatly enhances Yokogawa’s capabilities as a provider of successful digitalization outcomes.
Today’s energy companies and chemical manufacturers are becoming increasingly aware of the business opportunity presented by digitalization. What is not so clear, however, is how these industrial organizations can use these new technologies and approaches to transform their businesses to gain more value from their data, assets, people, and value chains.
For technology suppliers, customer engagements now focus on Industry 4.0, Industrial IoT (IIoT), and associated outcomes. While the DCS and associated hardware and infrastructure remain important for sustainable operations, these are no longer the center of the discussion. The customer conversation, in turn, has shifted from the technology itself to the outcomes and new value that it can deliver. There is new focus on shortened technology planning horizons and increased speed in deployment, value, and agility while solving their complex business and operational challenges.
Energy and chemicals companies are still asking trusted suppliers and advisors for help on how to better leverage technology, but now the focus has shifted to business improvement imperatives. End users need to be better positioned to implement new technologies such as advanced analytics and mobility without compromising cybersecurity. Initially, at least, digital transformation efforts will take better advantage of the existing infrastructure using the massive amount of data already being gathered. Here, the goal will be to squeeze more value from existing sensors, systems, and applications before progressing to the next level.
While many suppliers are talking about developing new business models, energy and chemicals companies are embarking on transformation programs that address age-old problems such as improving margins and safety and managing risk. Most end users could care less about new business models. Instead, owner-operators seek suppliers with deep understanding of the intricacies of how they should run their equipment, plant, and facilities. This provides the fundamental basis for digitally enhancing current processes, reducing manual effort and errors, and – only if needed - creating new work processes. This industry operating domain knowledge and know-how around business value drivers is critical for driving change on the front line and helping ensure that digitalization efforts deliver the desired outcomes.
Yokogawa has established a solid reputation as a trusted, global supplier of digital automation technologies and associated services to help assure plant operability. The addition of KBC; Industrial Evolution, Inc.; and Soteica Visual Mesa greatly enhance Yokogawa’s capabilities as a provider of digitalization outcomes that help customers achieve their business objectives.
KBC’s “techno-economic” and organizational consultants complement Yokogawa’s portfolio with deep industry operating domain knowledge of upstream, refining, and petrochemical processes. This been codified into KBC’s process simulation and optimization technologies. Recently added IT/IIoT solutions from Industrial Evolution, Inc. and energy management and supply chain optimization capabilities from Soteica Visual Mesa fill additional portfolio gaps and address some of the key issues discussed in the next chapter.
The fusion of Yokogawa’s heritage focus on optimal operability through base-layer control, devices, and sensors with KBC’s advanced technology applications and industry know-how provides the basis for ensuring successful and sustainable outcomes and value.