Can predictive maintenance drive new revenue streams? PETRONAS considers one way to do it with the PI System
In complex, machinery-heavy industries, it's a common practice for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to charge businesses for remote data monitoring.
For equipment managers, dealing with data streams from multiple OEMs, each with its own proprietary data interface, is a headache - one they have to pay for a lot. Could there be a better way?
The Malaysian oil and gas company PETRONAS wants to turn the usual arrangement on its head. Using the basic architecture of the PI System as a scaffolding, they have developed their own proprietary system, dubbed PROTEAN (PETRONAS Rotating Equipment Analysis) that collects, integrates and analyzes data from a broad array of machinery.
It works so well that the company is considering charging OEMs for access to asset performance data.
“Why pay the OEM for remote monitoring and diagnostic services, when the OEM is receiving all the data for his R&D?” asked PETRONAS engineer Gavin Halls, addressing an audience of OSIsoft users at the company's EMEA conference in 2017. “The OEM should be paying the operator - us - for the data. Perhaps we need to drive a business model change for the OEMs.”
It's an intriguing prospect. Ownership of data is a complex and evolving question.
But whether or not PETRONAS can upend the traditional relationship between OEMs and their client businesses, they've hit upon a real insight: If you can synthesize equipment data across your enterprise, and develop intelligent analytics for understanding and optimizing your processes, you'll have created something of great value for everyone involved in the enterprise, OEMs included.
The PROTEAN system was the result of two years of trial and error. The company initially started out to develop an in-house system based on manual data logging, and discovered along the way that they needed a data infrastructure like the PI System to structure their data collection and analysis.
Screenshot of PROTEAN used by PETRONAS engineers for operational intelligence.
PETRONAS is now in the process of expanding and deploying their new system across the enterprise.
“We want to make the solution more integrated and more embedded to the engineers that really need to use it,” says Khairil Azwan Khabri, PETRONAS's head reliability manager. “We're going to increase more equipment to use our solution, because we know it's brilliant, because we know it's simple, and because we know it works.”