29 April 2022
Industry 4.0, whoever knows about it wants to get started! So does a large energy production company in the United Kingdom with over 120 sites across the country, which asked Perfact for help.
This energy production company was already well on its way. It had already collected several project ideas and it was clear to it that Artificial Intelligence (AI) would be an added value to the organisation. Artificial Intelligence offers numerous advantages in various fields such as marketing, customer service and risk management. The latter, risk management, is what this case is all about. By using advanced algorithms, future failures can be predicted in advance using combined data. This makes it possible to prepare for the outage, so that there is less loss or the outage can even be prevented altogether.
The company was still wrestling with the outcome of a number of essential questions: How to start, where do we implement it and what will it give us? Important questions that Perfact and Yokogawa discussed in a workshop before the project could start. Unfortunately, the COVID measures in place at the time did not allow us to do this on site, but that did not stop us. With the right preparation and good coordination, we jointly created a setting that allowed the workshop to take place online.
“Teamwork makes the dreamwork”, the workshop started with an introduction to the team, before the necessary information could be exchanged.
Good preparation is half the work, as the saying goes. And this was certainly the case for this project. Before the start of the workshop, the challenges, information about the factory, ideas and dates were all worked out in advance in the form of templates. This ensures that everything is clear and comprehensible and that we can start working efficiently and effectively.
After the first day, the first analyses could take place, which showed that the main “value driver” was the production losses.
The next day’s workshop started with discussing concept solutions for the use of Artificial Intelligence within the organization. The concept solutions were created by following and fully working out all phases of the deployment process. This workshop ended with analyses. Financial analyses were performed for each project, ranked according to added value and including payback time, profitability and required investments. To further “fine-tune” the projects, the input and feedback from the team was very valuable.
With the end and therefore the solutions in sight, the last day of the workshop started. All discoveries and findings were presented to the team and management. They responded enthusiastically. After this, the most suitable projects were selected as pilots. An example of a “case” serving as a “pilot” is the engine shutting down due to low pressure in the water system, caused by leakage or contamination. A suitable intervention for this problem would be to use an Artificial Intelligence model to predict the water pressure and compare it with the actual pressure, and issue a deviation alarm where necessary. Preparations are currently underway for these “pilots” to take place.
Although the process has a strategic start, trying to understand the business better and having a clear goal in mind (in this case, preventing outages), Industry 4.0 is certainly not only about finding solutions for technical problems. The human aspect is also very much present. It is preceded by an internal process whereby, from an organisational point of view, everyone has to be thinking along the same lines. In addition, it is important to get clear who responds to what and in what way.
Industrie 4.0’s approach and train of thought, combined with the knowledge and skills of all participants, has borne fruit. There are now a number of detailed concept solutions on the table, the blueprint is ready. Based on these solutions, this energy
using these solutions, this energy production company can take a fast route to higher productivity and improved maintenance with the help of “Artificial Intelligence”. In just a few days and a small investment, they have come to enlightening insights and can take the next step. We are looking forward to the follow-up of this workshop, in which we will bring the concept solutions to reality. “Keep you posted…”.