Redefining your asset performance for business success

Optimised Assets: how digitalisation is upgrading the APM vision

If APM is the heart of the organisation, data is the lifeblood, pumping vital information and assets across all departments to ensure a healthy, safe and reliable business performance.

But for Sanjeev Dhinda, Head of Sales, Asset Performance Solutions, Asia Pacific at AVEVA, it is not just about business survival, it is about business success. And visibility and visualisation of your business assets is a key driver for “overall operational effectiveness” and “improvements” in the bottom line.

Drawing from his 30 years in the industry, he shares with Asian Downstream Insights how APM 4.0 technologies with a focus on predictive analytics, prescriptive and maintenance strategy optimization are giving new perspectives on asset performance, how insights from APAC customers can set standards for the rest of the world, and how a connected APM strategy can drive operational excellence across all parts of the value chain.

Countdown to APM 4.0

Asset performance management – the use of data capture, analysis and visualisation to improve reliability of physical assets – is a recognised part of business strategy. But for Dhinda and AVEVA, APM 4.0 is taking this understanding of your assets to the next level through digital technologies.

“It’s a collection of technologies which have been in existence in various forms but with the advent of artificial intelligence, machine learning, mobility and cloud technologies I think [these]  various components have come together and have huge potential to really help the professionals who work in Reliability or Maintenance related activities to become more effective and more efficient”, he explains.

Because of these developments, “I think the attention to APM has drastically increased”, Dhinda confirms. “Customers  have realised that there are inherent risks which they [have been] able to manage so far, but there is a lot of scope to improve and manage those risks more effectively by deploying technology, by automating some workflows, by increasing collaboration across teams”.

COVID-19 and an increasingly competitive market has fast-forwarded the need for streamlined asset management, and the technology to provide it.

“I think operators are also realising that the technology components which are available now, are more proven than few years back”, Dhinda muses. For him, it’s this results-proven technology that will also shape the decade ahead.

Safety and sustainability

For now, APM 4.0 is helping downstream leaders tackle their current challenges, and with the largest global oil companies publicly pledging to reduce carbon emissions, sustainability is shaping the next phase of the energy industry transition. Dhinda  cites an ominous case study of “a chemical company in the region, which was shut down because of the pandemic effect…when they wanted to restart, they missed on checking the vital safety procedures [and] it led to major disaster and a lot of people got killed, there was a major impact on the pollution levels and company’s reputation was very negatively impacted”.

This story is a chilling warning of not only the consequences of mismanaging your assets, but also how strongly sustainability, safety and APM strategy are inherently linked. “The cost of unplanned failures” is the main busines risk for  not implementing APM systems. “The predictive analytics get early enough warning of an asset which is likely to fail and prescriptive maintenance guides to take the right action”, are ways to mitigate business risks and secure company’s profits and workforce.

APAC insights

From his experience across the APAC market, Dhinda has noted a pattern of learning curve, and sees a huge growth potential.

“In APAC, the maturity level is not as high as compared to their peers in Europe or in America”, he explains. “So with that kind of background, I think the potential for adoption of APM solutions is very significant. And it really suggests double or may be triple digit kind of growth for APM technologies…”

Even within the region, there are pioneers. Dhinda mentions “PETRONAS in Malaysia” and “SCG Chemicals in Thailand” as trailblazers who are leading the way.

When it comes to reliable asset performance, these leading operators are relying on the right partnerships, as the announcement last month of a strategic collaboration between AVEVA and SCG Chemicals to develop a Digital Reliability Platform (DRP) to predict equipment health, monitor performance, and enable advanced maintenance, revealed. 

“Reliability is a critical element to our business [and] with the innovative approach of the Digital Reliability Platform, we will ensure that we can eliminate the business risks posed by unplanned downtime” explained Mongkol Hengrojanasophon, Vice President – Olefins Business and Operations, Chemicals Business, SCG.

When it comes to innovation on country  levels, it’s a tight race. “Malaysia took an early lead. But so far, I think in the last two years, I would definitely see that Southeast Asia and Thailand have taken a big leap. And some very active engagements in India, Korea, Australia [and] China, are also underway.  So I think it’s just a matter of time [till] we see some significant adoption of APM 4.0 across APAC region”.

Predicting an unpredictable future

Predictive analytics are helping provide early visibility in an unclear future.  There are new solutions, such as Cloud, which streamline data storage and management and “[add] some additional capabilities and scalability to potential customers”. However, it is also raising  new concerns, such as cybersecurity. For Dhinda, the solutions providers who succeed will be those agile enough to adapt to the fast-changing market requirements. There is more competition, and more at stake.

“Vendors have to also articulate the value proposition, their experience and their recommendations more effectively to accelerate adoption of APM 4.0 by potential customers”, he observes.

Times may be changing, but one thing is certain: that when it comes to managing asset performance and business profits, “companies have no option but to embrace digital transformation”. APM 4.0 has given us a glimpse into how the future of downstream will shape and it’s placed itself in a central role.

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