Rockwell pushes into prescriptive maintenance and IOT with PTC partnership
Assem Salaam, sales director for the Gulf region at Rockwell Automation, comments on the company’s partnership with PTC, and IOT’s potential impact
Tell me about your partnership with PTC.
The partnership between Rockwell and PTC aims to make the digital transformation journey of our customers a smoother one. Reaping the benefits of the digitally connected machines, intelligent platforms, working together in a seamless integration.
Rockwell Automation brings subject matter expertise in the field of industrial automation. As you can see, more or less, we can say that the digital transformation already happened and has taken place in many market verticals. One of the very few ones remaining is the industrial field. The complexity is that in the industrial field, things will only work properly when we understand what is happening at the at the shop floor, at the plant level.
PTC is one of the most renowned companies in IOT digital transformation. They have a solid and tested and very well known platform. Rockwell is coming with the subject matter expertise in the industrial automation. We know very well what is happening on the plant floors, in the oil and gas operations. All the data that we need to fish out of the field is known to us because this is our subject matter expertise. This is going to be the enabler when combined with the IOT platform of PTC to really reap the benefit and address the business outcomes that our customers are looking for.
What business outcomes do IOT platforms address for oil and gas companies?
Everyone is trying to be efficient in what they are doing, trying to do more with less. When it comes to oil and gas, we have a multitude of assets to be managed in different ways. The ultimate goal is to have higher productivity, efficiency, safety of the personnel. And in oil and gas, we have all these assets spread over large geographical area.
It is not easy for the oil and gas operators to send every now and then people to fetch data, to fix what is happening in remote or difficult-to-reach locations. With digital transformation everything will be intelligently connected. The operators will be able to read, control, and diagnose what is happening in those remote assets. Even if someone has to go down to those assets, they will have a prescriptive way of dealing with it. They will be able, with the use of augmented reality, to know what needs to be done, and how to do it, even if they do not have that much experience dealing with that particular task.
What is the difference between prescriptive and predictive maintenance?
Predictive maintenance involves collecting the data, building the algorithm, and working on analytics to predict what is going to happen. A prescriptive approach takes this process one step further: We know what is going to happen, we have predicted already what is going to happen, and we are working with algorithms to actually prevent it from happening. Now prescriptive considers that if it we are unable to prevent it, what will be the course of action to get it back on track and secure the lowest downtime possible?
Where do you see the most opportunity for growth for IOT technology?
The number of assets which we have in the region is enormous. And there are a lot of very old assets, which have been there for the past 30 or 40 years. Trying to be sustainable and keeping an eye on the environmental impact of what we are doing, using those assets in a more efficient way, and making them digitally enabled to be able to stay connected, will boost efficiency, productivity, and also a positive environmental impact.
I believe that this is something which every oil and gas company in the region is striving to achieve. And I believe that we are uniquely positioned with our portfolio and our subject matter expertise to help them to build this strategy.