‘Dad, why doesn’t anyone pass the ball to the man with the whistle?’ ‘Because he is the referee, son.’ ‘Mom, why do you never switch channels on TV?’ ‘Because I can also watch Netflix, dear.’ Just some ordinary questions children would ask their parents out of curiosity. Once we grow up, however, many of us have a hard time even figuring out why we do what we do. Answering that ‘why’ question ourselves has provided us with very useful insights, leading us to make optimal design and decisions.
At Selmers we all have a genuine passion for process optimization. In all honesty, it is more of an obsession. This obsession has allowed us to become the world’s leading supplier of high quality pipe blasting, -coating and -handling equipment. You could argue that the piping sector holds no secrets for us anymore. Or does it? After all, big data is a phenomenon that is knocking on our industry’s door too. At the same time, we realize that IT technology in general is years ahead of the level of automation in heavy industries, including our own.
Why not kill two birds with one stone by developing an automation platform that helps companies in heavy industries prepare for Industry 4.0, we wondered. To accomplish this, we knew we had to add context to the oceans of data available, as this is exactly what most PLCs are missing. By taking a modular approach and adding several layers to our software, we managed to add context to even the lowest layer of sensors. Furthermore, we succeeded in converting the now highly structured data to an Office environment for further analysis by means of (Power) BI software.
Our platform now allows operators, operational managers, QHSE managers and plant managers to perform predictive analyses and carry out very adequate risk assessments (among others) from their PC. In terms of improved efficiency/OEE and maintenance, this means less downtime and safety enhancement. Meanwhile, our platform is already in use in several major plants operational across the US and Brazil with promising results, after having been tested by virtual commissioning.
To keep you up to date with our beautiful line of business, and our data platform in particular, you will receive a range of blogs in the months to come. Admittedly, these stories will be less structured and predictive than big data but a lot more fun to read…