Invensys people here, just as at the Foxboro/Triconex conference last month, are optimistic about the pending acquisition by Schneider Electric. By the way, the shareholders have approved the acquisition. Now the decision rests with all the various governmental regulatory agencies. Mike Caliel will be the Invensys lead on the integration team—which can’t do anything until all the approvals are received and the deal is final.
Mike took some time out of a busy schedule to chat about Schneider and the software business. Norm Thorlakson, global head of Invensys’ HMI and Supervisory software business, joined us for most of the conversation.
To get the Schneider conversation out of the way, I asked several questions about a post-acquisition Schneider and Invensys knowing that Mike couldn’t answer with any detail. He absolutely cannot comment on Citect—its history and place within the structure. Regarding the Invensys Wonderware partner ecosystem, he could only say that Schneider knows about the importance of partners as the way Invensys software goes to market. But although integration teams have been formed on each side, they cannot begin work until all the approvals are obtained.
My biggest takeaway from two Invensys conferences is the confident optimism of all the Invensys people. The company is filled with intelligent, experienced people, and the Schneider CEO is on record saying he respects that.
I’ll write more on the outlook of a post-acquisition Schneider in the market later. But the combined company should have a considerable impact on the market.
Spiral Crude Assay Management
Mike and Norm also discussed the trends in software that Invensys is capitalizing on—and leading in many ways. In the age of “Big Data”, contextualization is the key to information. The ability to synthesize date into actionable information so that customers have a safe and reliable plant continues to be the focus.
For example, they cited the following product announcement from the SimSci group. This assay management software is even more powerful (especially impactful if you’ve seen the demo) than even the press release says (I know, the reverse is the norm). Combining access to data and powerful modeling tools, an engineer can look at the characteristics of one type of crude on a graph, then perhaps look at other crudes waiting for processing. Perhaps the engineer checks the graphs and finds that two are quite similar. Then with just a click, looks at the characteristics resulting from blending the two. All this is done quickly and easily alleviating a tremendous amount of work, calculations, checking and re-checking that is necessary now.
The product release of the day comes from SimSci–Spiral CrudeSuite crude oil knowledge-management software with its SimSci PRO/II design and ROMeo optimization software. The new integrated offering gives the hydrocarbon processing industry a single-source software solution that enables seamless access of latest crude assay information for refinery design, analysis and optimization. The integrated Spiral CrudeSuite offering will provide accurate and complete crude assay information throughout plant lifecycle modeling from design through operations and performance optimization.
“Integrating our crude assay management, design and refinery optimization software fulfills the potential of the Spiral Software acquisition we announced last year,” said Harpreet Gulati, Ph.D., vice president, design software for Invensys. “We are now able to offer the only full-span refinery optimization solution on the market today, one that will help our customers reduce operating costs, increase throughput and maximize profit. Having complete and accurate crude information for improved design and optimization can help drive cost savings and margin improvements that could total millions of dollars each year.”
Spiral CrudeSuite is an enterprise toolset for sharing, managing and modeling crude oil information. It supplies rich, validated crude assay data so engineers can easily design accurate refinery processes using the company’s SimSci PRO/II software, and its comprehensive crude assay data helps engineers optimize the refinery for maximum profitability using the company’s SimSci ROMeo software.
“Combining our Spiral Crude Assay management, PRO/II design and ROMeo refinery optimization software capabilities allows us to provide a unique, end-to-end solution across the full hydrocarbon processing value chain,” Gulati said. “CrudeSuite software will help refiners understand their exposure to changes in feedstock costs, product demand and refinery operations, and it greatly increases the accuracy of their models and speeds up new designs and revamps. It is going to help our customers make the best possible business decisions using real-time market and operations data. We are excited about the business value and competitive differentiation this will provide to our clients.”