Sensors on critical equipment are not new—but the massive expansion of connected sensors is. Connected sensors offer new opportunities for monitoring performance and failure rates and optimizing maintenance in many industries, oil and gas being one.
With sensors, fixed assets including vehicles, pipelines, plants, machinery, and even buildings are becoming smarter—and as a result, also more complex and costly to repair. When you mashup and analyze all the relevant data—historical, real-time, structured, and unstructured—you can bring together textual inspection reports, streaming sensor data, historical data, maintenance costs, and critical environmental data such as weather conditions.
The analysis can provide insight into the root causes of asset failures and operational variances. Understanding these trends and using this information to set thresholds and monitor real-time sensor data allows teams to intervene immediately to prevent failures and unexpected downtime.
From Preventive to Predictive Maintenance
The knowledge gained from analysis also enables formulating more sophisticated maintenance strategies, moving the choice of run-to-fail or preventive to predictive and proactive. These new models can help find the optimal balance between maintenance costs and downtime resulting in better procurement strategies, realization of warranty claims, and fewer unplanned downtime events.
Data visualization and advanced analytics tools make sense of the volume and variety of data. These tools help optimize operating and capital budgets, maximize return on asset investments, and maintain compliance of safety and other regulatory requirements.
As a result of visualized analytics, companies can now begin to understand their assets and the causal relationships between the many factors that affect their performance and potential failures. Analytics allows users to quickly see distributions and investigate outliers to build a model of reliability and performance for each asset type. That model helps monitor real-time performance and identify when it begins to deviate. The deviations can trigger problem prediction, future performance, cost overruns (like increased fuel consumption), and failure times—and appropriate interventions and corrective actions.
Spotfire is helping energy companies worldwide optimize their maintenance and operations from the oilfield through refineries and distribution. It’s also used extensively across the industry in areas as diverse as production optimization, well surveillance, trading, portfolio and capital planning, and health and safety analysis.
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