Connecting the world: Braskem unifies data to leverage innovation
- ChallengeAlign data servers throughout the world to increase collaboration and innovation
- SolutionsUse the PI System to centralize data and increase visibility across the organization
- BenefitsIntegrate new data sources, create a structured database and corporate-level data standards
Braskem is one of the world’s largest petrochemical companies. It has operations in 27 countries and produces more than 19 million tons of petrochemicals and related products each year. The company also prides itself on being a sustainable development leader, with more than 100 projects that generate environmental or social impact. Braskem’s data is spread out across 35 historian servers that did not connect with each other.
Braskem used the PI System to bring those data silos together into one system accessible to its nearly 8,000 employees around the world. Data centralization projects are nothing new, but pulling it off at a company of Braskem’s size and scope is no small feat. The PI System gives Braskem’s employees the data they need to be innovative and further the organization’s digital transformation.
Innovating in the circular economy
Braskem prioritizes projects that align with the circular economy, an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and continually using all available resources. This philosophy requires an innovative approach and the ability to monitor resource use and allocation. The company also empowers its employees to make changes that are innovative and rely on technologies like big data, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence
Despite the motivation and support from leadership for big changes, the company’s legacy data infrastructure got in the way of making them happen. It had 35 historian servers spread across Brazil, Mexico, Germany, and the United States, with no integrated view of industrial data and difficulty connecting to the cloud.
“There is no integration between those historian servers, so we end up having 35 data silos,” said Naími M. Nassiffe Souza, the technical lead on Braskem’s Central PIMS Project. “Our teams needed to see data from different sides in one dashboard.”
Changing the organization’s culture
The PI System provided the integration Braskem was looking for. It made industrial data available in a safe, centralized, and structured way that was available to the entire organization. It took one year to bring everything online, and the company is now in the process of training users on the PI System and publicizing its benefits internally through workshops. “We’re working with groups who have visions across multiple sites and trying to understand and compare one with the other,” Souza said. “Having the central vision allows the users to better understand indicators and KPIs, and it’s a great opportunity to standardize process monitoring.”
The PI System was the only solution that met all of Braskem’s requirements for the data centralization project. All of the required data connectors were tested, validated, and ready to deploy, and the system was already in place at larger organizations. While Braskem is using the PI System to drive innovation across the organization, it’s deliberate about which data is moved to the central server and how the relationship between local and central is managed. They’re bringing information to the PI System as users need it, rather than replicating everything centrally.
Looking ahead and prioritizing projects
Now that the PI System is in place, Braskem is starting to apply it to projects that require data from multiple industrial units, those that require sending data to the cloud or external networks, and projects that can more easily scale with centralized data. Specific projects include predictive maintenance, risk scenario modeling, and virtual online analyzer indicators.
Large, established companies like Braskem will never be able to innovate at the speed of small, scrappy startups. However, the PI System gives them the data foundation to take risk sand try new things on their own terms. Teams across the world can collaborate based on shared data and see opportunities that were not available before the Central PIMS Project began. Look for more exciting things to come from the Braskem team over the next year.
For more information about Braskem and the PI System, click here.