By: Tariq Bakeer, General Manager, Endress+Hauser Instruments International AG, Middle East Support Centre
Over the past few years, the oil and gas industry has been witnessing several changes which are influencing the businesses and the economies associated with this sector. The Middle East is synonymous with oil and gas and hence the impact can be seen clearly in the region. Adding to this is the burning question about whether petroleum can continue to be the main source of energy going forward.
In the wake of these changes and development, the main focus of companies in this sector and especially those in the Middle East would be to do more from less. To do more from less also means placing emphasis on efficiency - taking measures to reduce costs, increase operational productivity and ensure profitability.
Conventional factories that use offline systems with little or no inter-connectivity, does not align with this. The Middle East remains the world’s largest oil exporting region, and the second largest gas producing region (Feb 28 2018, BP energy outlook).
Hence, it is crucial for the region to adapt Industry 4.0 and move towards big data analytics and digitalisation. Reliable reports show that, Industry 4.0 related spending in the oil and gas sector in the Middle East has continued for more than a decade.
However, the recent oil price crisis has accelerated the acceptance and implementation of state-of-the-art technologies. For example, oil companies can produce more oil by analysing vast amounts of data gathered through sensors inside components across its oil wells. This data provides key indicators on the state of reservoirs.
This real time data assists in managing risks, increase collaboration and help employees make faster and more informed decisions. Large amounts of data always existed in every small process, however, digital transformation – i.e. how we make use of this data is what matters. This is also one of the major challenges that we see in the Middle East even though several large oil and gas companies have embraced digitalisation.
With our products and solutions, this is the very challenge we try and overcome, basically to make it easier for our customers to interpret available data and build efficient processes around it. Endress+Hauser Middle East is driving IIoT and digitalisation forward through innovative products and solutions as well as by working effectually with partners in the region. Megatrends such as demographic change or digitalisation impact our customers.
And whatever impacts our customers also impacts us and our business. With our products, solutions and services, our customers gain valuable and relevant information from their processes. Digitalisation creates new opportunities at various levels.
- It expands the capability of our products. For example, Heartbeat technology allows our measurement devices to constantly monitor themselves. This increases the reliability of our customers’ applications and prevents system downtime.
- Apart from the actual measurements, our devices supply a wealth of other information that is derived from the process. By analysing this information, we can make predictions about maintenance, for example, and let our customers know the right time to service their devices.
- We have various online and software tools that simplify our customers’ work and support them with all tasks, from engineering to ordering and delivery to installed base management.
Also, the new E-commerce functionalities on our homepage transform www.mesc. endress.com into a cooperation platform that connects our customers and us. The homepage complements the support offered by our sales engineers.
Our customers can access their personalised section on our homepage and conduct operations within a few minutes effortlessly. In the end, digitalisation, IIoT, Industry 4.0 all translates to ‘ease of doing business’ and ‘doing more from less’ in every respect. Digital transformation is the way forward.