Now the installation operator receives all the required information – temperature parameters, vibration, IIoT sensor health readings – and can also manage remote devices in a convenient customizable web interface.
The petrochemical industry is already fairly well automated – all critical production processes are controlled by automated process control systems. This leaves a number of manual processes for monitoring equipment that need to be automated, as well as data collection tasks for making decisions in process control.
The industrial IoT not only simplifies the control of process equipment, but also collects data for other digital tools. This data is sent to the corporate data storage on real time basis, and is used by Advanced Analytics tools for forecasting and process optimization. IIoT solutions take the industry to a new level of process automation, increase production reliability and ensure the development of a data-driven approach to decision-making.
The decision to develop our own tool was made as the platforms currently available on the market do not meet the requirements and tasks of the Internet of Things at a petrochemical enterprise. To launch the project, it was necessary to retrofit non-critical units with automated control systems, give plant operators without programming skills the opportunity to connect sensors themselves and create interfaces for monitoring equipment. Therewith, creating and owning an in-house platform turned out to be twice as profitable as buying paid equivalents and refining them. IIoT in SIBUR is based on LoRaWAN wireless network, where all devices are managed by a network server.
According to Alexander Leus, Head of Industry 4.0, one of the main challenges faced by such product developers of products is an acute lack of feedback from users at the stage from creating an MVP (minimum viable product) to implementing a finished product.
"In our case, the product development team consists of specialists in IT and Digital Technologies and professionals with extensive experience in the petrochemical industry. Such a combination allows for developing and providing users with the most convenient product working to achieve business goals," - Alexander Leus.
A new tool can be mastered quickly and easily. The first users – operators of ZapSibneftekhim pyrolysis production unit – have already received training. Vasily Yezhov, IIoT product owner, explains how to work with the IIoT platform: "Adding a new sensor to the platform interface is very simple. Simply scan its QR code with a web camera to connect it to the network. There is no need in manually entering the number or other parameters. Then the operator takes the required process diagram in the form of a graphic file, uploads it to our mnemonic editor and gets a new diagram for placing the sensor, selecting the required triggering limits, for example, the temperature: minimum and maximum. Thus, in three steps, a production employee creates an interface that will be used to operate the system."
SIBUR is now moving to the stage of distributing IIoT solutions among its enterprises. Pilot version is applied at enterprises in Tobolsk, "Tomskneftekhim", "Voronezhsintezkauchuk" and "SIBUR-Kstovo". Distribution range and implementation areas were determined as per the analysis of failure statistics and risk matrices for equipment items. "The tool is aimed at increasing the uptime, the production assets efficiency, and reducing labor costs for routine manual control operations. At the same time, achieving these results requires ensuring a high level of line employees' engagement," says Vladimir Pleshkov, Head of Production Digitalization Development.
Distribution is based on a register of business cases and ideas for using the IIoT, which contains information about current problems in production, technical solutions, and potential effects. "Companies share their experience actively – this speeds up the process of generating a project portfolio significantly. We consider the economic indicators of each business case, since the introduction of the IIoT involves not only investments in hardware and software, but also the development of the appropriate infrastructure for data transmission and processing," says Ivan Tarasov, Project Implementation Manager.