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Customer Story

PETRONAS smooths the road to digital transformation with the PI System

platform in the ocean to collect gas
  • Challenge
    Low operational visibility to gas plant equipment across disparate OEM systems
  • Solutions
    PETRONAS Rotating Equipment Analysis (PROTEAN) platform for real-time data monitoring, based on the PI System architecture
  • Benefits
    E360 view into asset health with automatic alerts and elimination of spreadsheets and manual data collection

Acting on a mandate from top management at Malaysian oil and gas company PETRONAS Carigali to go digital, the company’s maintenance and engineering team wanted to implement real-time asset monitoring. The team is responsible for overseeing an upstream plant that includes 130 pieces of hard-working gas turbine-driven equipment, including compressors, generators, reciprocating engines, and pumps. But it soon learned that the road to better data management is not always a straight line from problem to solution. The company’s critical and high-value plant equipment and data are sourced from multiple manufacturers, many of which do not easily integrate with one another. After a few false starts, the company turned to the PI System. Now, PETRONAS has real-time asset management that includes preventive action, improved maintenance, and bottom-line savings.

We want to make the solution more integrated and more embedded to the engineers that really need to use it. We’re going to increase the equipment that uses our solution because we know it’s brilliant, because we know it’s simple, and because we know it works.
Khairil Azwan Khabri
Head Reliability Manager, PETRONAS Carigali

A versatile data-collection solution

Over the course of two years, PETRONAS developed a proprietary solution based on the architecture of the PI System. The solution, known as PROTEAN (PETRONAS Rotating Equipment Analysis), has proven so useful that PETRONAS engineers have proposed charging the company’s original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for the data the company is delivering to both parties, turning the standard arrangement on its head.

“Why pay the OEM for remote monitoring and diagnostic services when the OEM is receiving all of the data for his R&D?” asked Gavin Halls, an engineer at PETRONAS. “The OEM should be paying the operator—PETRONAS—for the data.”

PETRONAS made a few early mistakes before arriving at a data strategy that worked. For example, in 2015, company crews used handheld loggers to manually gather data on vibration, lubrication, and other important benchmarks, which were compiled into reports. The manual logging and data manipulation in spreadsheets proved to be too unwieldy and inaccurate to be practical. Engineers needed simple but information-dense visualizations, automated email alerts, and analytics tools that could identify issues before they escalated. Most important, the system needed the ability to evolve and be integrated into other systems.

'Replication was the key’

A year later, PETRONAS developed the PROTEAN software. Armed with the lessons of its earlier efforts, the team made rapid progress, hooking up 32 units to the new system by late 2017, with plans to have the system installed in more than 100 units.

The team began by developing a monitoring system for just two critical gas turbine-driven compressor units to see how it all worked. It employed the PI System to collect the data and PI Vision to run the visuals. Within two months, PETRONAS knew it was on the right track. The automatic email alert system successfully notified the team when issues arose. The dashboards were clear and easy to read and delivered insights.

As PETRONAS followed the path toward digital transformation, the team structured its data using Asset Framework, adding context and hierarchy to its assets. “Replication was the key,” said Halls.

PETRONAS Carigali developed the PETRONAS Rotating Equipment Analysis (PROTEAN) platform for real-time data monitoring based on the PI System’s architecture.PETRONAS Carigali developed the PETRONAS Rotating Equipment Analysis (PROTEAN) platform for real-time data monitoring based on the PI System’s architecture.

A vehicle for condition-based maintenance

The company is developing more complex algorithms in tandem with the PI System to make the infrastructure more intuitive and predictive. It is also designing a fault tree based on previous data so that repair crews can investigate, diagnose, and fix problems as they receive alerts.

PETRONAS is also using the PROTEAN system to move away from scheduled maintenance and toward condition-based maintenance, in which the flow of real-time data alerts engineers to the changing status of a piece of equipment.

Watch the presentation for more information about PETRONAS and the PI System.

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