The presence of IoT technology in the petroleum industry is not a new concept. However, the value derived from this information is what differentiates an organisation from another. As uncertainty in the global oil and gas industry ensues, businesses are looking above and beyond merely managing assets and are now focusing on integrating data across their entire value chain, developing advanced workflow solutions to predict market shifts, reduce costs, and create new revenue streams, says Anton Albrand, vice president, SkyBitz Tank Monitoring.
According to Berg Insight, the global installed base of active remote tank monitoring units reached almost 1.8 million by the end of 2017. Growing at a compound annual growth rate of 37.2%, it is estimated to reach 8.6 million units worldwide in 2022. These are staggering numbers that will surely prove profitable for leaders that capitalise on the value of IoT tank monitoring solutions across their entire operation.
How it works
Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) means pairing sensors with communications systems and data analytics capabilities to provide different areas of business with valuable insight that help eliminate ineffective business processes. Wireless devices are typically at the core of IoT, usually capturing data via cellular connectivity and then translating it back to a data centre where critical calculations take place. Ultimately the data is translated and either presented via a web-based portal or mobile application or in many cases integrated directly with back-office software.
At relatively low costs, wireless tank monitors are easy to install sensor-based devices that are dropped into a tank to measure the level, temperature and pressure of the product in the tank. Usually exposed to outdoor elements and potentially extreme weather, the tank monitoring device is extremely rugged and highly durable.
For more specialised hazardous locations, the device must also be certified for Class 1 Division 1, intrinsically safe for deployment. Battery life is equally important as the origin of data collection begins with the IoT device. Since the tank monitor operates in remote locations, the battery is designed to transmit data periodically over many years without the need for a replacement.
Visibility starts at the device level, capturing tank level and product consumption. The information is then shared across verticals and customers for total transparency across the value chain. Alerts and notifications are established based on business rules which directly correspond to specific tank levels, giving customers the ability to proactively plan and manage different functions including operations, sales, management, finance, customer service, and maintenance. See the diagram below:
How IoT affects the tank monitoring industry
There are use cases for each area of the petroleum industry, from upstream, midstream, and downstream, each representing their own set of challenges and obtainable result including production planning, inventory management, resource and equipment scheduling and of course eliminating shut down.
Specific to the downstream use case, IoT integration addresses your most sought after asset – the customer. Delivery efficiency is the most significant savings as most tanks on average, are over serviced by 35%. While many field marketers and operators are still [...]
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