HUGHES GE Efficiently managing building services and utilities in an industrial plant environment requires an in- depth understanding of changing operational activities – something Baker Hughes GE is acutely aware of as the oil and gas giant works to digitise data collection from its manufacturing plant.

The firm’s Tyneside-based plant is responsible for the design and manufacture of industry-leading flexible pipe systems built to sit beneath the ocean at extreme depths and transport oil and gas to surface platforms.

Although the oil and gas industry has experienced an extended period of uncertainty, Baker Hughes GE has continued to innovate and invest in the latest technology in order to improve information transparency and interoperability between systems. The company’s latest upgrades include process control technology and automation solutions from Beckhoff as part of an open system built by TR Control Solutions (TRCS).

The specialist flowlines, risers and fluid transfer lines manufactured by Baker Hughes GE are all about increasing speed, flexibility and performance whilst guaranteeing reliability - traits the organisation is keen to mirror in its UK production facility.

Industry 4.0 The fourth industrial revolution

(Industry 4.0) is transforming manufacturing through the introduction of connected systems capable of self-configuring and self-optimising, ultimately improving efficiency and minimising waste.

The secret to unlocking these benefits at Baker Hughes GE was held in the vast amounts of data being generated by the production and facilities departments.

In 2015 TRCS configured and implemented its asset|Driver system to capture data from production equipment in order to generate real- time Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) statistics. In 2018, TRCS started to implement a Beckhoff-based building management system by replacing six standalone, legacy BMS controllers and the user interface for the BMS (that provides transparency and supervisory control), has been embedded in the same asset|Driver platform.

By replacing the existing BMS infrastructure with integrated controllers from Beckhoff, TRCS has demonstrated the ability to capture and categorise data from both production and facilities in real time, allowing managers to collaborate and view combined performance statistics on a single display.

With production and facilities becoming progressively more and more entwined, it’s imperative that all processes are taken into account. As an example, businesses are increasingly harvesting waste heat from production processes and using it to provide space heating and

domestic hot water – an efficiency measure that needs to be clearly visible and understood across different departments.

As a Beckhoff integration partner, TRCS is very familiar with open automation solutions that use PC- based control systems to achieve Industry 4.0 levels of interoperability.

OEE and production gains Most manufacturing facilities use OEE to accurately measure productivity, allowing business leaders to calculate the percentage of manufacturing time during which the business is reaching its full production potential by considering performance, availability and quality. asset|Driver can now be used both for OEE reporting and for building automation (operations and facilities) and in time utility meter data will also be incorporated into asset|Driver.

By fully utilising Industry 4.0 and leveraging the opportunities provided by interoperability, organisations such as Baker Hughes GE can expect to see a return on investment by way of an improved OEE figure.

Benefits of the integrated BMS system include easier access to building service controls and greater transparency of operation. It is thus expected that natural gas consumption for space heating will be reduced as alerts will be generated by the system when HVAC operation is not expected.


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