AVEVA held its annual global world summit event (AWS) from September 16-18, 2019 in Singapore. Over 500 senior executives from manufacturers and processors located around the globe, along with almost 100 partners, came to the event to learn about digital transformation solutions and accelerating innovation and transforming their respective company’s digital future.
AVEVA’s CEO Craig Hayman kicked off the event, discussing AVEVA’s vision for Industry 4.0, digital technology, digital twins, and digital teams as well as AVEVA’s new integrated engineering software. The integrated portfolio comprises three software solutions:
- AVEVA Unified Engineering integrates process design with front-end engineering and detailed 3D based design
- AVEVA Unified Project Execution links and helps streamline procurement and construction processes for capital projects
- AVEVA Enterprise Learning helps with the skilling of operators and engineers using extended reality (XR) and simulation tools to help ensure more efficient start-ups and shutdowns, normal operations, and the ability to handle abnormal situations.
Artificial Intelligence and its Role in Strengthening Human Intelligence
Following Mr. Hayman was Dr. Ayesha Khannna, CEO and Co-Founder of ADDO AI, who discussed artificial intelligence (AI) and its role in amplifying human potential. Dr. Khanna cited many cases of using AI for applications, such as food safety leveraging blockchain technologies, as well as in other areas, such as transportation and banking. Dr. Khanna also discussed the ethics of AI and how, if you are going to use data and AI, you must govern it to protect citizens, while at the same time how critical it is for companies to use these technologies in their businesses if they want to keep their customers.
Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric, the company that has a 60 percent equity investment in AVEVA, then spoke about “Ultimate Efficiency,” using technologies, such as Industry 4.0, in process applications to increase efficiency, reliability, safety and security, and sustainability, along with productivity and asset performance, as well as the positive effect energy efficiency has on decarbonization and sustainability. Mr. Tricoire also cited numerous efficiency success stories of their customers leveraging EcoStruxure, an IoT-enabled, plug-and-play, open, interoperable architecture and platform, used in homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure, and industries. EcoStruxure consists of connected products, edge control, apps, analytics and services, connected by the cloud or on-premise servers, architected with end-to-end cybersecurity, merging the physical world with the digital world.
Keynote Addresses and Case Study on the Digital Transformation Journey
The case study keynote was given by Abdul Nasser Al Mughairbi, Group Senior VP Digital, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), who presented the company’s digital transformation journey referred to as oil and gas 4.0, which is all about data, insight, foresight, and time. Mr. Al Mughairbi covered ADNOC’s six key strategic dimensions, including growth and shareholder value, operational efficiency, workforce of the future, industry leadership, sustainability and health, safety and environment, and digital and AI innovation, describing how all of which are creating opportunities across the oil and gas value chain. Mr. Al Mughairbi discussed Panorama, the gateway to ADNOC’S digital transformation, which leverages AVEVA solutions for a single source of accurate information across the value chain. Panorama uses real-time and historical data and tools designed to enable the workforce of the future, using technologies, such as machine learning, production planning optimization, remote and autonomous operations, for example, to lower the risk of multibillion-dollar development decisions and accelerate subsurface modeling.
Numerous other keynotes were held throughout the event. Giacomo Silvestri, Senior VP Digital, ENI, presented building a digitalization vision. Mr. Silvestri discussed ENI’s digital transformation solutions, strategy and experience, focusing on governance, innovation and lessons learned. Taoufik Arif, VP Digital at OLAM, presented digitalizing the modern agribusiness. Mr. Arif discussed re-imagining global agriculture and food systems and Olam deployment of digital transformation solutions in manufacturing. A session on enabling the workforce of the future was held featuring Poon King Wang, Director, Lee Kuan Yew Center for Innovative Cities; Pleasure Mnisi, Manager, Business Optimization, Exxaro; and Thierry Friant, Nestlé, Digital Initiative Lead, Cereal Partner Worldwide (Nestlé partnership with General Mills). This session covered new digital capabilities ranging from AI and machine learning (ML) to predictive and prescriptive analytics and visualization and how they are beginning to drive change in job roles across industries. The panel discussed how companies can position themselves to take advantage of workforce disruption, and the role that industry together with educational establishments and governments will play in taking advantage of new work opportunities that technology will bring. Finally, Alain Poincheval, SVP Offshore & Onshore and President, France, TechnipFMC; and Dick Wynberg, Project Director, Shell Downstream Project Singapore, closed the conference offering advice as to how companies can accelerate their digital innovation by sharing digital transformation solutions and business models of the future, new ways of working and people engagement and managing asset lifecycle; and the new business opportunities being created by digital innovation.
Breakout Sessions on Digital Transformation Solutions
There were also multiple breakout sessions held at the event, ranging on the first day from unified shipbuilding integrating data driving transformation; transforming infrastructure to optimize the delivery of public services; a taste for innovation using digital transformation solutions in the hybrid industries; maximizing performance from capital project to operations by rethinking engineering, project execution and workforce enablement, and visualizing tomorrow leveraging Industry 4.0 in the hybrid industries.
One breakout session of note from the first day was maximizing return across the asset lifecycle, focusing on how asset performance management reduces risk, improves reliability and enhances safety. Customer speakers included Jane Arnold, Head of Global Process Control Technology, Covestro; Sameer Sariry, Engineering and Operation Information Management Functional Manager, Petroleum Development Oman; and Irene Fastelli, Head of New Technologies & Business Opportunity, ENEL. The speakers discussed how the ability to identify, diagnose and prioritize impending equipment problems in real time can prevent costly failures and reduce downtime, and how adopting predictive maintenance strategies can increase asset utilization while driving operational excellence and improving reliability, safety, efficiency, and profitability. Breakout sessions held on the final day included establishing marine operational excellence via control, visualization and asset performance management; transforming infrastructure minimizing risk and cost in cities, transport and water; operating the plant of the future via edge-to-enterprise visualization and value chain optimization; and new partnerships and new paradigms driving collaboration between EPCs and owners to unlock value across the entire asset lifecycle.
Time to Break Down Barriers to Digital Transformation Solutions Adoption
With all the testimonials from senior executives regarding the operational and financial benefits of digital transformation solutions, the AWS event was successfully able to convey the importance of these technologies to the other senior executives in attendance, wanting to learn more about how to begin or accelerate their own company’s digital transformation journey. The industrial world is typically slower than the consumer world in adopting new technologies, with issues such as short ROI requirements, scalability of use cases, culture, organizational makeup and employee change management often cited as barriers that impede transformation. Regardless of these barriers, digital transformation is a key driver of change that opens new opportunities for companies to grow and create value. The benefits of digital transformation solutions, such as improved asset health will result in a reduction in unplanned downtime and better asset performance, while incident prediction capabilities lower operational risk and protect worker safety. Cognitive learning delivers digitalized intelligence resulting in knowledge and experience being available throughout the company.
The key to successful digitalization is a company having agile, digital-savvy leadership that sets forth a strategic vision for organizations, and effectively infuses a digital mindset across the entire workforce. As clearly stated throughout AWS, it is time for the industrial sector to embrace innovative technology to drive positive business outcomes in order to realize greater productivity and sustainability, optimize energy consumption and the return on investment. After attending several AVEVA AWS events in the past, ARC feels that this AWS event was its best thus far, creating substantial value to its attendees looking for digital transformation solutions and case examples of how to begin or continue their digital transformation journey. ARC highly recommends those seeking to begin or continue their digital transformation journey to attend future AWS events, and looks forward to monitoring the progress that AVEVA is making with its digital transformation solutions and its customers are making in deploying them and documenting their success stories to continue to lower the barriers to adoption throughout industry.