Miguel López
Regional Director
Rockwell Automation
View from the Top

Stimulating Competition Through Digitalization

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 16:07

Q: Where do you think Rockwell Automation will have the greatest impact in the Mexican industry?

A: We have much more presence in the midstream and the downstream. Our systems processes have been growing and we have a more general presence in the industry. Nonetheless we also have upstream applications, especially applications regarding gas flaring and emergency stoppage.

Q: What kinds of innovations do you think are going to have the most impact in the Mexican oil and gas industry?

A: First of all, the Energy Reform is obliging everybody to become more competitive. In the case of oil and gas this also stimulates demand for digitalization. Part of what is occurring is that companies are starting to digitalize part of their operations on already existing assets. Also, many of the new private operators will start to construct their own assets. These are going to be built with the integration of digital technologies.

Q: What does the concept of the digital oil field represent for Rockwell Automation and how advanced are platforms?

A: This is the same concept as our connected enterprise, hinging on what we call connected production. The digital oil field is about how we digitalize operations that cease to be manual in such a manner that people can make decisions. In the case of the oil and gas industry this is very relevant because operations are continuous. This means that these are not operations that can be stopped at a moment’s notice, making timely decisions important. For this reason, we are betting heavily on this dynamic of digitalization. We have worked a great deal with the national industry, and in particular we have worked with PEMEX, although we are also working with the new operators.

Q: Where do you see the greatest opportunity for Rockwell Automation to grow in the oil and gas sector?

A: We see opportunities in all parts of the oil and gas industry. Rockwell Automation is probably one of the last providers of technology to enter the oil and gas market in Mexico, so our history in the local industry is relatively short, despite the fact that our products have been here for many years as part of the equipment of other suppliers. However, we only have 15 years in Mexico with a commercial strategy for oil and gas. For that reason, our market share has grown quickly but we still have a great deal of room for growth.

Q: What is your growth projection for Rockwell Automation in oil and gas?

A: In this sector, we are growing in the high double digits, at close to 20 percent per year. A large part of what we have done has been to focus on the needs of the clients, since these necessities can change from one moment to another. We listen attentively to what they need and we try to be sufficiently flexible so that we can help them reach their objectives in productivity, savings and efficiency. We seek to make our clients’ business better because this brings us closer to them.

Q: How important do you think the integration of hardware and software is for the Mexican oil and gas industry?

A: We strongly believe in the integration of hardware and software. In fact, when examining how our control systems have evolved it is clear that the first big step was migrating from firmware that needed to be physically changed to downloadable firmware. Now there are many things which are happening on a software level. If we look at the IoT and how such systems become data suppliers, the important thing is not what is done with the data, but rather making opportune decisions with the data. The challenge is that an expert is needed to do this, as the data in itself does not generate knowledge. For that reason, we are now investing heavily in advanced analytics. We believe that one way to overcome the personnel problems we are seeing due to the retirement of experts is the creation of tools that help customers not only generate new information and predictive data but which also create prescriptive data. This means the system not only warns of potential failures but also allows the customer to take action to avoid failure.