In Digital Manufacturing

By Bonnie Soohoo, Director of Marketing and Product Management at Sight Machine

In mid-April, Anadarko hosted over 200 attendees at their HQ for the Oil and Gas Innovation Showcase. The show featured 12 technology companies, including Sight Machine. Also in attendance were major players in the oil and gas industry such as ExxonMobil, GE Oil and Gas, and Baker Hughes. It was nice to see a range of technology groups come together to help solve some of the problems this industry is facing. Due to low hydrocarbon prices, the market conditions have created some daunting challenges for oil and gas companies, and there is likely going to be a sustained period of downturn.

Sight Machine presented and engaged with leaders in the industry to better understand their current challenges. Of the 12 technology companies that presented, four of them focused on the use of advanced analytics in domains including:

  • Tanker fluid, gas, and solid measurement and maintenance,
  • Predictive maintenance,
  • Cognitive analytics for IIoT, and
  • Manufacturing analytics.

The remainder of these companies focused on material sciences and navigational and video solutions in the field.

After speaking with attendees and presenters, it was clear to me that analysis capabilities in the oil and gas industry haven’t kept up with modern technology. This industry lacks a level visibility and flexibility that could help alleviate some of the challenges they are facing. Many are currently focusing on trying to find solutions that would allow them to:

  • Create a culture that is more open to change
  • Maintain discipline to reduce cash costs
  • Assess where the baseline of activity is as organizations, cost structures, and priorities change
  • Overcome the leap to cloud services (this topic was noticeably controversial among attendees)
  • Understand who has ownership of data when a project involves many different teams or groups
  • Figure out how to implement a governance model across organizational silos
  • Determine which low-value projects to discontinue
  • Make the leap to SaaS-based applications (versus utilizing IT resources to build applications and implement upgrades)
  • Understand what to do with the data that they already have
  • Address their data privacy and security concerns

There is a clear need for analytics to provide visibility and flexibility to help resolve some of these challenges. For those looking to make use of IoT and analytics in their work and plant environment, to start, I’d recommend making a plan and allocating resources for implementation and experimentation. Once some results have been generated and captured, the scope for the implementation can be expanded.

There are some amazing changes being made in the analytics community to solve problems in the real world, and it’s always great to see how Sight Machine can step up to help industries achieve further growth and business success. We look forward to our continued work with organizations in the Oil and Gas industry, and welcome any feedback you have.

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