Safety has always been a top concern for oil and gas suppliers. Because pipelines must operate 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, safety, high availability, and reliability are key requirements for smooth operations and, ultimately, profitability.
New safety and security threats have challenged the traditional approaches oil and gas suppliers have taken to protect their people, production, and profits. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has transformed process automation in the industry by providing a backbone of connected assets, cloud, and analytics technologies that simplify and enhance upstream, midstream, and downstream applications. However, if not implemented correctly, IIoT can endanger the safety of pump and refinery operators, as well as the integrity of the machines themselves.
Of course, focusing exclusively on risks does not provide a 360-degree view of the opportunities the connected landscape provides to actually enhance safety and increase profitability.
IIoT unlocks the potential of profitable safety. If that seems like an oxymoron, it’s understandable, because efforts to ensure refinery safety have been costly and often ineffective, especially considering the volatile, high-risk nature of oil and gas pumping environments. Today, with persistent, automated safety-integrity monitoring and safety-systems validation, as well as high-speed data capture to support pump analytics and diagnostics, safety becomes something more robust and valuable for oil-and-gas pump operators. New technologies enable new visibility for pump operators into the workings of systems and their entire operation, so that it’s more straightforward to identify potential vulnerabilities to degradation or impairment by disruptions in their internal or external environments.
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