Tag Archives: Energy

Delivering Business Value from Machine Learning and Analytics: Lessons Learned from Real-World Successes

With the proliferation of business data in every market sector we see parallel advances in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and general analytics. Successfully getting business value out of these techniques has become a complex affair. This isn’t meant to discourage potential users but really to alert them to potential pitfalls where too many avenues hope to capture customers by offering easy, fast, cheap, and out-of-the-box solutions. Simply put, the complexity of business data and the AI, ML, and analytics techniques needed to squeeze valuable and cost-effective information from it requires an upfront respect for the complexity of the task and a series of techniques and approaches to allow the best chance for successful business implementations of these critical technologies.

At Tessella, we’ve been in the data science and analytics business for nearly forty years – long before these became cool buzzwords. With that experience, we have developed a series of very successful techniques for pulling off the most complex and sophisticated analytics campaigns.  We’ve also seen projects that went down roads that proved anywhere from less-than-fully-successful to downright disastrous and we’ve seen many commonalities inherent within these failed approaches.

It’s this composite collection of do’s and don’t’s that I’ll cover in my webinar as lessons learned from real-world success. I’ll begin with the best starting point possible, which is to have a well-defined business problem that you’re trying to get the data to answer for you. This is far more effective than the opposite question of ‘what can the data do,’ which is too open-ended and not likely to generate optimal and cost-effective business answers. After the beginning, I’ll dive into what the underlying nature of AI, ML, and analytics techniques and algorithms actually are. I won’t do this to teach complex mathematics, but to show the underlying complexity and hopefully instill respect for the power of these things to do good – and harm if not properly handled.

Next, with an understanding of what analytics is – and isn’t – I’ll discuss in detail various techniques that we have developed at Tessella that help us achieve consistent success on the widest array of analytics challenges. The key aspect of these techniques is that we’ve learned them by doing and succeeding, and we also see that other successful practitioners are adopting very similar approaches.  The upshot of this is, while I can’t prove our approaches are correct, the collective wisdom of success indicates there is something very fundamental here that is best not ignored.

Toward the end of the webinar, I’ll take a look at some of the most common misconceptions folks have with respect to AI, ML, and analytics and the methods employed that regularly lead to failure, wasted time and money, as well as folks updating their resumes. I’m convinced that by showing how analytics is best done and looking at common mistakes the audience can come away with a much better chance of truly extracting business critical information from the flood of data that is hitting every business in every market in this data-inundated world. I hope this webinar enables the audience to get maximum value from their data and to compete effectively with the digital natives bringing innovative data-driven products and services to market.

Join Tessella on a webinar entitled Delivering Business Value from Machine Learning and Analytics on 27th Februuary at 3PM London/10AM New York.

Register Here!


Spotlight Interview with Jacob Jewison – Electrical Engineer – Nidec – Kato Engineering & Leroy-Somer

A conversation with Jacob Jewison, Electrical Engineer at Nidec -Kato Engineering & Leroy-Somer

Jacob graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, and has 5 years of experience with Nidec-Kato Engineering working as an Electrical Engineer.

BRW: What do you hope the audience will learn from this webinar?

The goal of the webinar is for the audience to better understand what factors go into sizing the generator and why it is so important that we receive that information during the quoting stage so we can provide an accurate quote for a machine that will fit their needs.

BRW: What discussions do you look forward to having with the audience?   

 I look forward to talking about temperatures classes and the reactance requirements most.

BRW: What do you enjoy most about your role?

I most enjoy when a customer comes to us with a requirement that hasn’t been solved before, and I get to develop a new design that will fulfil the requirement.

BRW: How did you get into the Industry?

I’ve had an interest in electricity since the 4th grade when in science class we made simple circuits using batteries, switches, light bulbs and motors. This interest led me to pursue a career as an electrician after high school.  Wanting to learn more about electricity, after a couple years I decided to go to college for electrical engineering.  After my first year of college it was my experience as an electrician that landed me an internship here at Kato in the insulation lab building and testing sample coils.

BRW:Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

My favourite place in the world is out on the hiking trails near Lake Superior in Northern Minnesota, because it’s great to get away from the technology from time to time.

Join Jacob Jewison on a webinar entitled “Properly Sizing Your Generator” on 14th November at 3PM London/10AM New York.

Register Here!

Isolation Barrier to Abandon Subsea Pipelines

When normal operation of a pipeline ceases, operators must adopt an appropriate abandonment process. The first step in the abandonment of a pipeline is decommissioning, which is to take it from its operating condition and render it clean and safe on the seabed.

Once decommissioned, pipelines can be recovered to the surface or in some cases left in situ on the seabed and buried by gravel. Pipelines that are severed and removed from the seabed require the bare pipe end to be capped and isolated.

STATS subsea Pipe End Plugs can be supplied as a temporary or permanent cap to terminate open pipe ends. They provide a robust isolation barrier to prevent seawater ingress or residual hydrocarbon escaping into the environment. Pipe End Plugs are supplied with securing wedge taper-lock grips to ensure security of the isolation plug in the pipeline at the specified pressures, and the large section elastomeric compression seal provide a leak-tight seal, even in corroded and pitted pipework.

10″ Subsea Pipe End Plug

These high-performance plugs are lightweight and simple to install by diver or ROV. Once inserted into the open pipe end, the plugs are activated and set in position by applying torque to the plug torque interface. To aid installation the Pipe End Plugs are supplied with a handling bracket and buoyancy as required.

ROV deployed Pipe End Plug modified to allow commissioning of a 22″ pipeline.

The Pipe End Plug lock and seal technology is based on the Tecno Plug® range of pressurised isolation tools which have an extensive track record covering a range of pipe sizes, pressures and mediums including, gas, crude oil and condensate.

42″ Abandonment Plug for a Middle East National Oil Company

STATS Group were approached by a national oil company in the middle east which had a requirement to isolate a 42” subsea pipeline dead leg housed within an oil storage tank, situated in the Persian Gulf. The operator had identified some irregular flow characteristics which made them suspect the integrity of this 42” dead leg. The operator was concerned that over time the problem would worsen, with the potential of water contamination of the oil export. Read how STATS engineered a solution to provide a secure isolation to be deployed subsea via divers into the 42” dead leg through an open flange entry point. Read how we did it in this case study.

Join STATS Group Live Webinar “Decommissioning Ageing Infrastructure: Abandoning or Re-routing Hydrocarbon Pipelines” on 15 November at 3PM London/10AM New York


Webinar Spotlight Interview with Derek Vanek

A conversation with Derek Vanek, Technical Manager at SIFCO ASC.

Derek Vanek is the Technical Manager at SIFCO ASC and the author of various published technical articles. During his 30 years at SIFCO ASC, he has worked in sales, training, project management, and marketing. Derek received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Old Dominion University, after serving 5 years in the Navy.

What do you hope the audience will learn from this webinar?

I hope they will gain an understanding of brush plating and its capabilities, and specifically, that brush plating is an option worth consideration for groove repair applications.

What discussions do you look forward to having with the audience?

I am really looking forward to discussing their individual application needs. SIFCO ASC excels at identifying application issues and providing custom solutions.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Being exposed to a broad range of industries and the technology that drives them.

How did you get into the industry?

Selective plating was an ancillary technology that I got involved with during my time as a Navy machinery repairman (machinist).

Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

Anywhere in the outdoors where there are forests, lakes, rivers, mountains to explore.

Derek Vanek will present a webinar entitled Innovative Applications for Plating in Grooves‘ on the 7th November at 3PM London/10AM New York

Register Here!

Innovations in Groove Plating

The oil and gas market is making a strong comback after the downturn starting in 2014. After the restrictions were lifted on the four-decades long ban on oil exports in the beginning of 2016, the US witnessed a substantial increase in the demand for exported oil. Now with the expansion of the the output-cut deal between OPEC and other major producers extended until the end of 2018, the US oil benchmark has risen significantly. Crude oil prices have seen a steady climb in the past 12 months topping out at $80.50 per barrel. Many of the major oil firms like, Chevron, BP, Shell, and Total S.A. have recorded year-over-year growth in their top and bottom lines, with earnings likely to rise an additional 10-12% as upstream capital spending and the global rig count continue to increase.

With a positive outlook for the oil and gas market comes investment in new capital equipment, as well as refurbishment of old equipment to ensure the maximum lifetime value. With rigs operating sometimes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the constant wear and fatigue on the equipment causes corrosion, galling threads, ineffective seals, or worse. One component that experiences such wear is the hydraulic cylinder on a blow out preventor. The o-ring on the hydraulic cylinder provides a fundamental corrosion protection if it maintains proper dimension.

But what do you do when your o-ring groove is out of dimension or damaged? Reaching these unique areas is not practical for your typical surface finishing techniques such as tank plating. In order to remain competitve, one must look for innovative ways to reduce costs while simultaneously reducing downtime and keep their equipment running longer.

Join us in our live webinar on November 7 at 3pm London/ 10am New York to learn about your options for plating grooves, receeses, keyways, threads, and other difficult to access areas.

Depending on the purpose of your groove, multiple deposits can be plated. Corrosion protection, interference fits, anti-galling, or re-sizing from over- or mis-machining can all be plated to your required dimensions without the need for disassembly or post-machining. You’ll understand the importance of proper groove maintainance and the consequences if these are not maintained.

SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts is the global leader in the selective plating industry. Servicing the oil and gas industry for over 20 years, more MRO and OEM facilities depend on SIFCO ASC than any other plating specialist for job shop and on-site plating services. When timing is critical and you want it done right the first time, you contact SIFCO ASC. Register today for this unique opportunity to learn about your options for a custom plating operation designed to solve your o-ring groove problems.

Tune into SIFCO’s Live Webinar “Innovative Applications for Plating in Grooves”  on 7 November at 3PM/10AM New York

Achieving Excellence in Plant Operations

By Ferenc Tóth, Business Solutions Consultant, ABB Enterprise Software

Being a Plant Operator is a very challenging job. If I Google Plant Operator job descriptions, there are exhaustive lists of responsibilities.  Without trying to provide a full account here, let’s look at the most important ones:

  • Operate processing equipment and log equipment checks to follow standard operating procedures and optimizing plant efficiencies.
  • Regulate valves, compressors, pumps and auxiliary equipment to direct product flow.
  • Support smooth crush plant running by coordinating with plant management.
  • Analyze specifications and control petroleum refining and processing units operations to produce lubricating oils and fuel through distillation, absorption, extraction, catalytic cracking, isomerization, coking and alkylation.
  • Test liquids and gases for chemical characteristics and colour.
  • Inspect and adjust damper controls, heaters and furnaces.
  • Visit unit to verify efficient operating conditions.
  • Read temperature in pressure gauges and flowmeters, record readings and compile in records.
  • Inspect equipment to determine nature and location of malfunction like faulty valves, breakages and leaks.
  • Clean processing units’ interior by circulating solvent and chemicals.
  • Determine malfunctioning units through meters and gauges or lights and horn sounds.
  • Set knobs, switches, levers, valves and index arms to control process variables like vacuum, time, catalyst, temperature and flows.
  • Read processing schedules, operate logs, test oil sample results and identify equipment controls changes to produce specified product quantity and quality.
  • Comply with best practices, standard operating procedures and develop and maintain continuous improvement efforts.
  • Control processing units’ activities.

This is a very wide variety of tasks to perform, and the results of them – let them be inspection data, field measurements, sampling data, emission values, to name but a few – are valuable input to someone in a similar or maybe very different role in the organisation.

Some of these tasks directly contribute to the most important challenges of the plant.  No wonder companies are putting a lot of effort into establishing and maintaining a safety culture.  Apart from meeting Worker Safety standards, efficiency is usually a key word in a plant environment.  Higher efficiency level can be reached in a number of ways, including the enhancement of Plant Reliability through extending asset life or preserving plant integrity and configuration. Utilising common best practices can help to do things once, and do them right for the first time, increasing Productivity for the plant. From another perspective, efficiency can be positively influenced by Cost reduction as well. Effective issue prioritisation, leveraging performance improvements to processes and equipment, lowering the IT costs and shortening outage duration can all help achieving that goal.  Last but not least, the plant needs to work according to the rules of Governance and Compliance.  Among others, the business needs to ensure public and stakeholder confidence, regulatory compliance and should aim for creating an environment of continuous improvement.

If I try to summarize it in one sentence I would say: Efficient as possible at the lowest cost possible, safely.

So, what can go wrong?   Without a digitalised solution that automates the most important Plant Operator tasks, a lot of tasks can fail. The most common potential problems include:

  • Limited or no access to critical operation data throughout the organisation
  • Poor communication between departments and groups such as maintenance and operations
  • Inconsistency in log entry, information recorded, increasing chance of errors and non-compliance
  • Information missed or incorrectly transferred between shifts during shift turnover/handover
  • Unexpected overruns on plant shutdowns/outages
  • Unpredictable equipment failure and/or equipment replacement
  • Lack of integration between systems
  • Aging workforce and high employees turnover

If I was only mentioning the problems without offering some kind of solution, you could be rightly saying that I am a pessimistic person (which I am not).    If you are interested in the solution ABB Enterprise Software provides, please join me for our upcoming webinar on 25th October 2017.

Ferenc Tóth – ABB Enterprise Software

Ferenc TothFerenc Tóth has over 18 years’ experience in different areas including change and flow management consulting, sales, marketing outsourcing, business and management. During his career he has built up skills and experience with different market participants, such as private and governmental organisations, SMEs and multi-national companies.

He has knowledge of industrial software sales cycles and how presales activities support them, as well as the phases of the implementation project life cycle ranging from business analysis through testing to implementation.

  • How did you get into the industry and what do you enjoy most about your role?

After working in a variety of industries in different roles, I was presented with an opportunity to implement software in the plant operations environment.   My journey with ABB so far has included implementing new products and demonstrating to prospective customers.    I like being able to provide genuine solutions to real business problems.

  • “What motivates you?”

Doing something that I love, I am good at, where there is a need for it, and where I am rewarded. I like the Japanese concept of Ikigai, which is a term that embodies the idea of happiness in living. I strive to do every activity in life by ‘Ikigai mode’.

  • “What will the audience learn from attending the webinar?”

I hope that the webinar attendees will gain an appreciation of how digitalization of basic operations processes can benefit the organization at very different levels.    I also would like them to see that realising those benefits can be relatively easy, safe and inexpensive.

  • “Where is your favourite place in the world and why?”

2-3,000 feet above the ground in the pilot seat of a motor glider. I love the sensation of overwhelming freedom and peace when I glide.

Be sure to  join Ferenc & ABB Enterprise Software for their upcoming webinar “Using Mobile Operator Rounds to Achieve Excellence in Plant Operations for Chemical, Oil and Gas Companies” on 25th October 2017.