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PROCESS AUTOMATION A PARTNER WITH AN EYE ON THE FUTURE


How choosing the right RTU partner can result in better process automation, higher productivity and greater efficiency. Matthew Hawkridge, chief technology officer at Ovarro explains...


the most valuable benefits is that data can be analysed and interpreted to improve operational efficiency — and the most effective way of accessing this resource is with a Remote Telemetry Unit (RTU). Choosing the right RTU partner can deliver


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continuous improvements — yet businesses commonly ask, how should RTUs be implemented? 80 per cent of success in these projects is down to execution, including investments in technology, and your telemetry partner’s knowledge and experience provides the greatest part of the solution. Their insights and understanding can help you achieve your business goals. Here are five ways in which the right


technology partner can help: 1. Monitor processes better Historically, data from machines was


measured manually — a time-consuming process — or not at all. That meant management teams had little visibility of how processes were performing, or how to make improvements. However, thanks to advances in RTU


technology these processes can now be automated, with at-a-glance data providing valuable insights. The right technology partner will also help teach your employees how to understand and interpret this data, increasing the skillset within your business. Employees can feel empowered in being


able to operate and understand new technology platforms, improving the culture of the whole business. Ultimately, the outcome is greater efficiency, which results in higher profitability and enhanced shareholder value. 2. Better visibility of asset health A specialist technology partner with access


24 APRIL 2021 | PROCESS & CONTROL


unning a successful business in the 21st century means integrating technology within all aspects of operations. One of


to the appropriate RTU platforms can provide live insights into the health of assets, regardless of location. Your partner should also help you specify a device that operates most- effectively within the most demanding site conditions. For example, an RTU with multiple,


independent communications links, redundant power supplies and redundant process controllers provides another buffer to site conditions and future technological developments. Because they are resilient with layers of redundancy, RTUs are a reliable part of an effective and ongoing management information system. The RTU monitors day-to-day critical asset


information such as fuel and coolant levels, hours of run-time, oil temperature, faults, load levels and more. It monitors the external environment too, for example the local temperature. This is useful in harsh environments: engineers can take pre- emptive actions to prevent LNG assets overheating or freezing, without the need for routine inspections that can be hazardous. 3. Rapid response to changing events Businesses operate at a fast pace in quickly-


changing environments, and those that are most reactive will increase their market share. Communication is vital for this. The RTU, and a


partner like Ovarro that understands laptops, smart devices and the Cloud, can bring all these opportunities together. Businesses can implement an integrated approach to communication, even if they are geographically dispersed. As processing speeds continue to improve,


more automation will be introduced into industrial processes. Having this built into your RTU platform will allow you to keep up with developing technology. That’s why it’s always worth checking that your technology partner can provide these kinds of insights and understanding. These improvements are already facilitating


the development of blockchain technology, which is redefining the concept of digital twins. Our customers are beginning to utilise blockchain technology to create a digital store of physical objects, and the RTU is the essential link between these two. 4. Add value to the customer proposition Evolving RTU technologies within the


industrial space can shape how your customers interact with your products and brands. The most successful companies fully- use the data available to understand their customers’ behaviour, and significantly increase their bottom lines. 5. Future-proof your business RTUs have been used for decades for


digitising industrial processes as the data acquisition portion of a SCADA system. While this has improved visualisations for operators, many integration partners have kept their customers up-to-date with latest advances in analytics and in decision-support solutions that apply, like Artificial Intelligence (AI). Through transformative operational


improvements and dynamic adaptability, AI can outperform conventional decision- support technologies. Your RTU partner should work with you to develop cost-effective solutions that are more adaptive to constantly changing conditions. The real benefit of AI is automating complex tasks, and providing consistent and precise optimum set points as part of an automated process. Industrial manufacturers that are unable to


capture, interpret and act upon asset- generated data will soon lose out to competitors. Advances in RTUs, and the value of choosing the right systems integrator, means that industrial processes are already capturing and storing vast amounts of data. Businesses can turn this data into a


competitive advantage. Manufacturers’ business models are changing as they shift to production of higher-value products or look to provide more services. RTU specialists are critical to this movement, helping deliver more efficient processes and responding quickly to changing conditions.


Ovarro www.ovarro.com


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