Digital Transformation and Digital Twin are both indeed quite the buzz words in the oil & gas industry currently. How do these terms relate to Hexagon PPM and your solution offering?
Digital transformation achieves step changes in business efficiencies through fundamental improvements in the way business is done across the value chain. It is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. It is usually a journey or a process rather than a solution a company adopts.
Simply put, a digital twin is a virtual model of a physical asset. This pairing of the virtual and physical worlds allows analysis of data and monitoring of systems to mitigate problems before they even occur, prevent downtime, develop new opportunities and even plan ahead by using simulations. The Digital Twin concept represents the convergence of the physical and the virtual world where every asset will get a dynamic digital representation.
Hexagon PPM is working closely with the Owner Operators and EPC companies across globe. We support their digital transformation journeys by guiding them and bringing the best practices from our global client-base locally here in India. Each journey is unique and must be taken after an initial review and discussion between the client and the technology partner.
Why is Digital Twin approach key for digital transformation?
The Digital Twin is a cornerstone for digital transformation. Without a complete, correct and consistent virtual description of the physical facility that can be trusted, it is not possible to successfully implement new ways of working and new digital business models. If workers cannot trust the digital description of the facility, they fall back on physical walk downs and private sources of information in their desk draws.
What benefits does an extended digital twin bring to the Indian oil & gas industry?
India is expected to be one of the largest contributors to non-OECD petroleum consumption growth globally, while being the third largest consumer of oil in the world (2017) – as a region, we have
an ever-existing need for digital transformation. India has plans on investing on large capital projects in the coming years to expand its refining capabilities.
We also have numerous large and complex facilities in the country, built decades ago, which have been operated and have gone under tremendous changes over the years. However, there is very minimal amount of digital data available for these assets to ensure safe and efficient operations.
Digitally transforming any organization will open doors for new business models and new ways of working. In the context of operations, maintenance, and project activities in India, digital transformation can drive fundamental improvement throughout the value chain, involving people, processes, and technology.
The creation of a digital twin as a part of digital transformation benefits projects leading to increase in efficiency and reduction of risk. A digital twin will improve overall project performance by enabling consistent and standardized processes along with shorter communication cycles, which translates to requirement of fewer changes.
Are there any challenges slowing down the digital transformation in the Indian oil & gas industry?
At present the digital narratives in the Oil and Gas industry are often narrow and follow a bottom-up technology language. An organization wide top-down approach, along with a comprehensive road map is the way ahead to ensure a smooth digital transformation journey. An organization looking to digitally transform its activities should consider making a change in its physical world by modernizing its core assets and taking step towards the journey of digitization.
Every organization in our country has a great opportunity to embark on this digital journey. Some of us are quite ahead in the learning curve and are making investments in the key areas, whereas others are deciding what path they need to take moving forward.
What would be your recommendations for an owner operator looking to digitally transform their operations & maintenance activities?
The idea is to have your end goal in mind and understand what needs to be achieved as a result. Owner operators need to understand that the benefits of the digital twin technology go beyond digital transformation - a digital twin will improve overall project performance by enabling consistent and standardized processes, and shorter communication cycles. It is important for more efficient, reliable and safe operations that each physical asset has a Digital twin.
We at Hexagon partner with our clients, no matter how far they are on their journey, to bring the expertise to support digital transformation.
Chanpreet Sahni is the Vice President for Hexagon PPM India. Chanpreet has over 13 years of experience in the international oil & gas service industry, working in various operations and management positions in large oilfield service organizations. This interview was originally published in the Petrotech 2019 magazine.