First Ever Industry Days Offer Immersion, Experts, One-on-one Discussion

New this year at OpsManage are the 11 Industry Solutions tracks on Tuesday. Each follows a basic pattern: an industry overview, followed by specific spotlights on key industry challenges, capped with an open roundtable discussion.

Niels Andersen, Vice President, Global Industry Solutions for Invensys Operations Management.
Niels Andersen, Vice President, Global Industry Solutions for Invensys Operations Management.

The challenges portion of each industry session is being delivered by experts (both internal to Invensys Operations Management and external, noted industry experts) and by customers, speaking on a peer-to-peer level to attendees.

Niels Andersen, Invensys Operations Management Vice President, Global Industry Solutions, pointed out: "This is a perfect opportunity for OpsManage attendees to immerse themselves in both challenges and solutions. It's the only day these sessions occur. Fortunately, the rest of the OpsManage product-specific tracks are repeated Wednesday and Thursday, so there's no worry about missing the other levels of information available in the conference."

The day-long Industry Solution tracks focus on chemicals; facilities management and transportation infrastructure; food and beverage; hydrocarbon processing; life sciences; nuclear; mining, minerals and metals; power; paper and pulp; upstream oil and gas; and water and wastewater.

"We selected a short-list of industry-specific discussion points for each track," Andersen said. "We approached it from the industry perspective as a whole, as opposed to taking things from the Invensys Operation Management point of view. Our charter is to take customer needs and map them to solutions-as many as we can from our product portfolio, of course, but also from external, partner and other sources as well."

For example, he explained, sub-optimal energy usage becomes manageable when you can measure its usage in relation to production. "Without windows into the data, energy is just something you feel vaguely unhappy about. It's not on the bill of materials, and unless you track every usage, you're likely to be missing key expenditures. Many sites treat it as though it's overhead or fixed costs. If you keep equipment idling all weekend, for example, outlay can be surprisingly high. Plus you add to maintenance issues from this kind of empty energy use."

"How important is all this?" he asked. "One of our customers achieved payback within weeks after installing the right mix of energy and production data, a mix that allowed them to see the cost of energy per unit of product. Data allows you to treat energy truly as a variable cost."

Each industry session focuses on specific needs. For example, water zeros in on energy-energy for pumping can cost more than the processing and chemicals involved. Life sciences eternally struggles with the tension between the rigidity of validation and the need for flexible production, one solution being pre-validated templates that can be applied across multiple instances of similar operations.

"The key is to understand as much as possible around what customers need," Andersen said. "Once we get our arms around the challenges, we can do a great deal to map solutions to specific products and procedures using good engineering practices."

Attendee input is a key element in tomorrow's sessions. "Join us," Andersen said, "and help directly drive the direction of our industry solutions."

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