The design engineering function originates data. It includes data about the structure of the plant or factory, data about the equipment and processes used to make the product, and data about the product(s) itself. In my early career, I embodied the movement of the data from design to operations and then back to design in a continuous loop of as designed—>as built—>as designed. I was also involved for a while in the development of a platform to automate this process using standards.
To say I’m interested in this area would be an understatement. And this process is important to all of you, too. Including those who siphon off some data for other uses such as accounting, customer service, maintenance, and reliability.
AVEVA, the integration of its iconic design engineering software and Schneider Electric’s software business, just introduced integrated engineering software designed to help customers transform the way capital projects are engineered, executed, and integrated into operations and maintenance.
The integrated portfolio comprises three software solutions. AVEVA Unified Engineering integrates process design with front-end engineering and detailed 3D based design. AVEVA Unified Project Execution links and streamlines procurement and construction processes for capital projects. AVEVA Enterprise Learning enables the rapid skilling of operators and engineers using Extended Reality (XR) and simulation tools, to ensure efficient startups and shutdowns, normal operations, and the ability to handle abnormal situations
“This launch builds on the recent news describing AVEVA’s capabilities as the first company in the engineering and industrial software market to comprehensively address the end-to-end digital transformation imperatives with an integrated portfolio of solutions that deliver efficiency, unlock value and empower people across the lifecycle of capital assets and operational value chains,” commented Craig Hayman, CEO, AVEVA. “It changes the way that owner operators engage with Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) companies in designing, building, commissioning, and operating their capital assets.”
The functionality provided in these integrated solutions enables the realization of an EPC 4.0 strategy for owner operators, central to digital transformation in the capital-intensive process sectors. This allows collaboration on a global scale, through hybrid cloud architectures and on a common platform. The entire manufacturing process can be traced, tracked, and linked – from engineering and design, through procurement and construction, to handover and to operations and maintenance, as a comprehensive Digital Twin for the capital asset.
“As competition in the business world accelerates the time has come for industrial organization to innovate to facilitate the transition from the manual, document-centric processes, towards a data-driven vision of project design, procurement, and execution in order to increase safety, reduce costs, and minimize delays, “ commented Craig Hayman, CEO AVEVA. “With the launch of AVEVA Unified Engineering, a first of its kind solution, we are breaking down the silos between engineering disciplines and enabling our customers to turn conceptual designs into 3D models quickly, accelerating engineering to estimation and ensuring designs can be operated before committing billions of dollars.”
New AVEVA Unified Engineering enables the integration of the process model and plant model lifecycles from concept to detailed design, delivering frictionless collaboration for multi-discipline engineers to collaborate in the cloud. The net result is a minimum 50% improvement in engineering efficiency in FEED and up to 30% in detail design, which can yield a 3% total installed cost improvement. These savings can be re-invested to ensure engineering quality, accuracy, and maturity for downstream project execution business processes.
AVEVA Unified Project Execution solutions integrate with AVEVA Unified Engineering to further break down the silos within Procurement and Construction by combining key disciplines covering Contract Risk Management, Materials and Supply Chain Control, and Construction Management into one cloud based digital project execution environment. AVEVA Unified Project Execution solutions deliver up to 15% reduction in material costs, 10% reduction in field labor costs and reduces unbudgeted supplier change orders by up to 50%, which translates to 10% total installed costs savings opportunities for our customers.
AVEVA’s Enterprise Learning solutions combine traditional simulation-based learning with 3D connected learning management solutions. AVEVA’s learning solutions extend process models and 3D models from AVEVA Unified Engineering to fast track DCS panel operator training, field operator training, process and maintenance procedural training, and process safety situational awareness training using cloud and Extended Reality (XR) technology to deliver up to 2% Total Installed Cost reduction by improved operations readiness.
“Our Engineering portfolio enhancements will deliver increased agility for our customers, enabling them to reduce cost, risk, and delays, minimizing errors and driving rapid capital project execution. The cost savings are realized by mitigating capital investment risks at the process design stage, cutting engineering man-hours by up to 30% in plant design, reducing material costs in procurement by up to 15% as well as reducing field labor costs in construction by up to 10%,” commented Amish Sabharwal, SVP, Engineering Business, AVEVA. “With these new solutions AVEVA is providing integration across all stages of the capital project, from conceptual design to handover, to optimize collaboration and break down silos between both engineering disciplines and project stages.”
The 2018 EY Industrial Products Survey was conducted among 500 Industrial Products (IP) executives whose businesses yield over $1B in annual revenue. These surveys are coming in with similar results. You can look at the results and say “Wow, almost half of executives at these companies see innovation as important, or see technology as important” or “How can half of all executives surveyed not see how important innovation is”.
I’ve had experience in manufacturing and marketing leadership and have studied it for many more years—and I lay most of the problems with manufacturing business squarely with (lack of) managerial leadership. I see these results and think that there will be many winners and just as many losers in the coming years.
The study surveyed executives from a variety of sectors including, aerospace and defense, industrial and mechanical components, machinery and electrical systems, chemicals and base materials, packaging and paper and wood. The survey was conducted between February 22, 2018 and March 22, 2018. The purpose of the study was to evaluate where IP companies fall on their journey towards continuous innovation.
Move over R&D: IP companies see digital technology and innovation as their path to success
- 48% Percentage of respondents who view innovation as quite/extremely important for company success
- 43% Percentage of businesses who are learning from and/or following the technology industry to influence innovation at their company
- 67% Percentage of companies who plan to make significant levels of investment in innovation past traditional R&D over the next three years
- 52% Percentage of businesses that say the adoption of emerging technologies will be quite important or critical to the success of their business in the next three years
Additional results from the survey include:
Facing a culture crisis: The perception of the IP industry is hindering the talent search
- 67% agree/strongly agree that the image of the industrial products industry hurts when recruiting for needed skills
- 38% that difficulty competing with tech-first companies for top talent is a leading barrier in filling the skills gap
- 25% say that attracting/retaining top talent is one of the biggest drivers of their company’s technology investment
- 64% agree/strongly agree that the IP industry needs to change their culture to thrive
IP is looking for outside inspiration. While the tech industry is the leading source, IP has a ways to go
- 43% of respondents are learning from and/or following the technology industry to influence innovation at their company
- Only 29% of business say they are extremely or quite innovative compared to close competitors
- 82% of respondents have made minimal or no investment in AI today
- 22% are learning from and/or following the automotive industry to influence innovation at their own company
- 21% are learning from and/or following the consumer products industry to influence innovation at their own company
Robotics, mobile and big data, oh my! What is getting the largest share of investment attention?
- 63% of respondents say that technology investments have driven measureable returns in agility to a significant/meaningful extent
- 46% are making substantial or major investments in robotics and 56% predict they will in the next three years
- 31% of businesses are increasing investment in emerging technologies in response to US tax reform
- 31% says that big data/analytics will be most influential on their business over the next three years
Not a matter of if but when disruption will hit. IP companies are staying nimble in order to prepare
- 49% of businesses say that preparation for disruption will be quite important or critical to the success of their business in the next three years
- 52% of businesses say that flexibility to adapt to trends will be quite important or critical to the success of their business in the next three years
- 53% of businesses say that access to specialized skills for emerging tech will be quite important or critical to the success of their business in the next three years
So last week I shared an update on Schneider Electric from the ARC Forum–mostly on cybersecurity. A helpful marketing person guided me to the press release with all the data that updated the software side of the week’s news–specifically asset performance management. For the most part the discussion did not center on product updates but on “increasing momentum surrounding customer adoption”. In other words, Schneider wanted to highlight an area of software not often brought to center stage and show that it is a growth area.
Kim Custeau (I misspelled her name in my last post, I believe–thank you autocorrect), Asset Performance Management Business Lead, shared how investments in the cloud, advanced machine learning, and augmented reality, coupled with new partnerships, have empowered customers.
“Defining and executing an asset performance strategy is a critical component to improving productivity while safeguarding business continuity,” she said. “We have been delivering proven, industry leading asset performance solutions for nearly 30 years, and continue to invest in a long-term strategy to drive innovation in this area. Our focus is to provide real value to our customers by empowering them to maximize return on capital investment and improve profitability. We are proud to see our customer results speak for themselves with significant savings.”
Machine learning and prescriptive analytics:
- Duke Energy prevented an estimated $35 million cost from early warning detection of a steam turbine problem
- Ascend Performance Materials now responds faster to alerts saving an estimated $2 million through avoided plant shutdowns
- BASF is implementing AR to improve asset performance, reliability, and utilization while increasing production efficiency and safety because technicians leverage an augmented digital representation of the asset.
Cloud and Hybrid Deployment:
- WaterForce partnered with Schneider Electric to develop and IIoT remote monitoring and control system in the cloud that allows farmers to operate irrigation pivots with greater agility, efficiency, and sustainability.
- MaxGrip and Schneider Electric announced a partnership to expand APM consulting and add Risk-based Maintenance capabilities. The APM Assessment is a first step for industrial companies to evaluate asset reliability and digital transformation strategy.
- Schneider Electric and Accenture completed development of a Digital Services Factory to rapidly build and scale new predictive maintenance, asset monitoring, and energy optimization offerings. As a result, a large food and beverage company saved over $1 million in maintenance costs
Connections, services, augmented reality. Three technology directions and three companies that contacted me last month to point out some cool things going on, often beneath the radar. One of them just raised a bunch of VC money, though. I think you’ll be hearing more.
Now that I’m catching my breath from a couple of intense weeks with the ARC Forum and then the Industry of Things Conference, I have time to look at some new directions.
Omnity uses the tagline Knowledge, connected. It accelerates the discovery of otherwise hidden, high-value patterns of interconnection within and between fields of knowledge as diverse as science, medicine, engineering, law and finance.
More than 2,500 scientific papers and 2,200 patent applications are published every day. Just the last five years of most scientific and engineering fields have produced on the scale of 100,000 documents. Reading these one an hour would take 50 years, a professional lifetime. Pair-wise comparison of these documents at three minutes per comparison would take more than 9,000 years, nearly the length of recorded human civilization. It is impossible to stay current in any field, much less the boundaries between two or more different fields, where most innovation occurs.
Omnity enables research and development professionals in all fields to rapidly and efficiently detect otherwise hidden patterns of relevant document interconnections. Whether for basic research or advanced product development, Omnity allows real-time insight into complex document sets, enabling research and development professionals to efficiently and systematically answer a wide range of questions. Read more here.
I heard about it on the podcast/radio show Tech Nation.
Augmenting Field of Vision
Safety Compass overlays information on your smartphone camera view, enhancing your field of vision. Warnings when and where you need it most—it is with you at work whenever and wherever you are, with coverage for the entire team. Simple, clear functionality with interactive hazard information suits any workplace size.
- Sign in and Select Your Site
- Supervisors can add a site or specific area on site within minutes.
- Adding hazard information is easy, simply follow the prompts to identify issues quickly.
- Workers can then sign in with secure login details and select from any number of relevant worksites.
- Scan Your Location for Hazards Using Augmented Reality
- The Safety Compass uses intuitive augmented reality to communicate hazard information to users in the field.
- Using the phone’s GPS and accelerometers the app superimposes real time information onto the camera view that adapts and compensates for worker’s field of vision.
- View Hazards Site-Wide
- By accessing the worker’s physical location, the app presents vital information on present dangers straight to the worker’s phone, avoiding the necessity of bulky safety manuals to locate and manage risk.
- A worker’s position is shown in relation to hazards, and workers can zoom, tilt and pan across a detailed site map.
- Access In-Depth Safety Information
- Workers receive critical site information well before they enter a hazardous area, allowing them time to prepare for safe work practices and overcoming the challenges of reading large volumes of complicated text in dark, shifting, loud or crowded environments.
- Additional safety information including video content can be added for more detail.
Frameworks of Applications
MuleSoft Agility starts with an application network according to MuleSoft. Mobility, Cloud services, the Internet of Things are creating incredible opportunities for business — but they’re raising customers’ expectations. MuleSoft builds application networks: seamless frameworks of applications, data sources, and devices connected by APIs, whether on-premises or in the cloud. They speed up app launch and modification cycles, make it easier to secure and manage access, and ultimately enable companies to do more — and faster — with less.
Leverage the power of API-led connectivity for a complete connectivity solution for digital business. Connect and orchestrate data on IoT devices, across devices, or with back-end applications. Leverage open standards and developer-friendly tools for speed and productivity. Connect to devices using out-of-the-box transport protocols like Zigbee and MQTT. Adapt Anypoint Platform to fit IoT architecture, not the other way around. Achieve full flexibility with a hybrid architecture and extensibility to connect future technologies.
MuleSoft recently received a large investment. Look for more from it.
If you noticed I was missing in action for several days, I took a little vacation and still had to finish a big project last week. Both missions accomplished. Finished the project and got in some quality relaxing.
It also gave me time to ruminate on Tim Sowell’s latest blog post about industrial operations. He’s been thinking a lot about the people who use the technology lately. I think rightly so. Technology only takes us so far (sorry technofuturists).
Several years ago, I ran across a theory of organization called “Holacracy.” The name derives from an ancient Greek word for a “whole thing”—Holon—and was then taken a new way by Arthur C. Clark. The theory has roots with Lean (which I admire) and Agile (programming) which I know only slightly.
When I studied Holacracy (www.holacracy.org), the theory sounded interesting and leading edge. Yet, the write up on the website seemed too over the top and limitless. It was as if it solved world hunger, world peace, and personal satisfaction.
Perhaps my impression was deepened by reading about how Tony Hsieh implemented (or rather dumped it on people) the structure (or in his case non-structure). Hsieh, you may recall, garnered great publicity for the unique way he ran Zappos. However, his leadership has declined considerably over the past few years. His Downtown Las Vegas project is in shambles and the way he instituted holacracy at Zappos led to chaos and exodus of good people.
Sowell forced me to take a deeper look at the philosophy. Taken in the context of its “parents” Lean and Agile, it makes a lot of sense. But it can’t be just dumped on a company. It requires a culture of trust before it is implemented. As in all team-oriented approaches, there is a danger of lack of diversity as teams choose their members and they all begin to resemble one another.
Sowell has been thinking about operations performance, not just technology but how it is used and how people’s roles can be transformed. He says, “While agile is applied in the software work, what we seeing in industrial operations, is not a transformation in technology (yes it is being enable by technology) but it really is a transformation in the way companies plan, execute, work.”
And so, looking at a more encompassing picture, he discusses, “Holacracy and Agile are systems that transform the way in which work is planned, and executed, with constant empowerment of people to change and evolve the system.”
Empowering people to grow and excel becomes a crucial component of managing an organization as the newer generations of workers enter the field. People a little older than I, as well as many of my peers, were content with filling a job. Work, go home, live for the weekend. But even many of us wanted more fulfillment for the hours we put in at work. Younger people increasingly wish to feel they are contributing.
Further, implementing these systems that are designed to empower people is non-trivial. Sowell says, “It is important to note both systems are aligned and they are a framework, they require discipline and execution within the framework to enable the agility. Too often in manufacturing and the industrial space people put technology and systems in as “silver bullets” and expect them to solve everything.”
I felt in reading the Holacracy website that its authors expected the philosophy to solve everything. Whether or not they do, taking Sowell’s ideas about placing within a framework is a giant conceptual leap forward toward effective implementation.