The digital transformation of industry has been the consuming focus for businesses across the process and discrete manufacturing industries for several years now. Regardless of whether a manufacturing or processing company is at the forefront of this movement or simply watching developments closely to determine their response, it’s clear that every industrial company will need to digitize its operations to be a part of industry’s future.
A key component of digital transformation is having the ability to connect data from disparate systems across a company’s operations for analysis and collaboration. The ultimate aim of these ubiquitous connections is the streamlining of operations and reduction of capex and opex costs.
Now, less than two years after its partnership with Schneider Electric’s industrial software business, AVEVA is the first company in the engineering and industrial software market to comprehensively address end-to-end digital transformation with an integrated portfolio of solutions. The three software solutions AVEVA integrated to deliver this capability are: AVEVA Unified Engineering for connecting process design with front-end engineering and detailed 3D based design; AVEVA Unified Project Execution to link and streamline procurement and construction processes for capital projects; and AVEVA Enterprise Learning, which enables the rapid skilling of operators and engineers to ensure efficient startups and shutdowns, normal operations, and the ability to handle abnormal situations.
Amish Sabharwal, AVEVA’s Global Head of Engineering, says AVEVA selected these three solutions for integration because “we see opportunities within each area to provide value to our customers. One of the biggest opportunities to provide value is to reduce the cost of capital projects by 15% and deliver them on schedule. Our customers look to unified engineering to reduce total costs 5% by connecting process and plant design into one common multidiscipline engineering ecosystem. The next biggest value opportunity for our clients is to extend engineering into field execution with AVEVA Unified Project Execution, which is centered around contract management, materials management, and construction management; this drives 8% of total installed cost savings for our customers. Finally, we have Enterprise Learning—this is all about enabling digital workers with the capabilities and technologies to learn about the assets they’re engineering or building in construction, and how to safely operate them. This generates an additional 3% of total installed cost savings by ensuring flawless start-up to name plate capacity of our customers’ assets.”
He adds that AVEVA believes these estimates of cost savings are very conservative. “Third-party consulting firms believe the opportunity is between 10-50%,” says Sabharwal. “The documented projections I mentioned are what our customers are achieving today, but we think there’s a lot more room for growth as we unify these three areas of Engineering, Project Execution, and Enterprise Learning even closer together.”
The combination of these solutions combines the functionality of AVEVA’s software applications with artificial intelligence, extended reality (XR), digital twin and cloud computing. The idea to integrate these specific technologies is based on AVEVA’s customer engagements across the oil and gas, chemicals, food and beverage, power, mining and smart infrastructure markets.
Sabharwal notes, “We started on this journey to bring together
engineering, operations, and maintenance almost two years ago. Our customers are asking for the complete end-to-end digital transformation of the entire asset lifecycle from concept to decommissioning.”
Aware that other technology suppliers in the industrial market also claim to provide end-to-end digital engineering solutions, Sabharwal says, “We’ve seen a lot of copycats trying to transcend engineering, operations, and maintenance. Aspen and Hexagon have recently announced a partnership to address the asset lifecycle, but they lack an operations solution. Siemens and Bentley have also partnered, but they lack a maintenance answer. There’s been a lot of maneuvering over the past months as competitors try to address the complete digital transformation of an asset’s lifecycle, but the reality is it’s a reaction to what AVEVA did two years ago.”
The unification of AVEVA’s Engineering, Execution and Learning solutions enables our customers to realize an EPC 4.0 strategy, as it allows for collaboration on a global scale, through hybrid cloud architectures on a common platform. By integrating this with operations and maintenance, the entire manufacturing process can be traced, tracked, and linked—from engineering and design, through procurement and construction, to handover and to operations and maintenance, as a comprehensive digital twin for the capital asset.