Platform to Boost Innovation and ProductivityTue, 01/22/2013 - 13:59
Mexican culture is full of inventiveness and wit; nevertheless, many oil and gas companies have yet to excel at capitalizing on these characteristics of the Mexican workforce. For Invensys, exploiting these innovative qualities has become a cornerstone in its process to develop new solutions for the Mexican market. The idea, according to Matías Adam, Invensys’ Managing Director for Mexico & Central America, is to capture the oil workers’ experience in its software solutions, and implement these to further boost innovation in the industry.
One of the biggest opportunities to be exploited in this area, according to Adam, is to enhance operational excellence through dynamic simulation models, captured in the software that the company provides, and implement these in downstream infrastructure to advance standardization and boost reliability, innovation and productivity
“The basic premise behind our value proposition is connecting our solution-based applications to the already installed systems in the client’s facilities to provide the client’s workforce with additional information that enable them to become decision-makers,” Adam explains. “The incorporation of the workers’ ideas raises awareness of their importance in the process, and motivates them to perform beyond their job descriptions. This helps the client to optimize its operations from within, and at the same time gives Invensys insights on new features to add to its oil and gas applications.” To achieve this purpose, Invensys implements Dynamic Simulation along the project lifecycle. The first part involves the validation of the process design. “Based on a thorough review of the existing configuration, we test and validate before committing capital to a project. We analyze operability for highly integrated plants, reassert controls, reduce equipment cost through minimizing overdesign, verify relief safety and flare systems, and eliminate programming errors and unaordable downtime for testing,” Adam describes. “After obtaining firsthand intelligence on the specifics of the operation from petroleum engineers and plant workers, we divide the process into dierent areas. Then, we study each employee’s role in the process and brainstorm with them about the tools that would help them to create value for the company.”
Once the features described are integrated into the software, the next step consists of using simulation software to provide personnel with a thorough understanding of their tasks, identify potential points of improvement, and outline the relevance of their tasks in the whole process. “By using the Operator Training Simulator (OTS), our company looks to help the client become an expert in the process, empowering personnel to improve performance” Adam says. This system lets the operator walk through all the areas of the facility and run dierent equipment using an immerse interactive augmented reality environment to obtain an in-depth understanding of what happens at each stage of the process and give him a firsthand insight in the role of each action in the value chain.
The last stage of this solution is an Integrated Training Simulator (ITS), a comprehensive training system including a control room and field operators for dierent processes and plants. “Through web-based access to a Learning Management System (LMS), the ITS provides the possibility to launch the OTS, enabling the trainee to interact with the training simulator while scores are recorded and stored in the LMS,” Adam explains.
Through these training solutions, Invensys looks to capitalize on the innovative nature of the Mexican engineer, by giving them the power to make decisions within their operative environment and understand the full impact of these choices within the company. In the end, this is destined to result in a win-win situation for all the parties involved.