Safety is the main advantage offered by automation in any industrial sector. Without automation, operators need to be present for any kind of job, which in the oil and gas field should be avoided as much as possible due to the dangerous nature of the activities and surroundings. For example, pipeline facilities tend to be remote and in dangerous places. Sending a pair of engineers to travel for four or more hours every time maintenance is required involves danger, cost and time and trying to reduce the last two usually translates into an increased safety risk. Revenue-wise, one of the main advantages of automation is its usefulness as a well integrity tool to increase production, mainly in shale wells where production increases can reach 10 percent. These tools can also be used to increase a well’s lifecycle via monitoring and analysis to detect pressure losses.
Our solution for existing infrastructure is what we call operational certainty. Operational certainty takes advantage of existing infrastructure to upgrade it around its best possibilities. One instrument we are bringing to the table to upgrade and maintain infrastructure is IoT. Emerson’s approach to IoT can be summarized in four steps: data acquisition from either existing or new equipment, use of wireless to transmit the acquired data, processing the acquired data to create preventive diagnostics schedules and procedures and maintaining the infrastructure by implementing preventive diagnostics. Emerson also offers connected services, allowing one less worry by becoming an automation and service partner so the customer does not need to do anything with the information that Emerson’s equipment and software gathers and processes.