Why industrial data is key to sustainable growth

Why industrial data is key to sustainable growth


City of Salem in Oregon, USA, uses data analytics solutions from AVEVA to monitor the growth of harmful algae on Detroit Lake, to ensure it can supply citizens with high-quality, clean drinking water 

The cloud, AI and analytics technologies can help industrial organisations to unlock the data insights they need to boost operational efficiency, drive innovation and accelerate decarbonisation efforts, says AVEVA’s Harpreet Gulati 

Guest contributor |

The climate crisis dominated the media headlines in the lead up to the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), which took place on 30 November to 12 December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Technology was an overarching theme during the conference sessions as global leaders discussed ways to fast-track and shape our planet’s net-zero strategy.  

The mobilisation of data, in particular, holds the key to driving sustainable innovation and progress. The act of unlocking data – through its collection, processing, analysis and distribution – has the power to transform businesses into sustainable, innovative operations. According to IDC’s Global DataSphere Forecast for 2021-2025, the size of the global datasphere is growing at a compound annual rate of 23 per cent and is likely to hit 184 zettabytes by 2025. For businesses in industrial sector, analysing this data provides several benefits. Enterprises can use it to reveal deeper insights about their critical operations, which helps them increase efficiency, optimise energy usage, decrease waste, partner more closely with suppliers, and make more accurate decisions.  

In an increasingly competitive business environment, sustainability has become a key driver of success. Prioritising sustainability enables industrial companies to create value for their stakeholders while improving environmental performance.  

Industrial intelligence-as-a-service represents the core of this approach. Our fully managed cloud-native software-as-a-service solution, AVEVA Data Hub, can be integrated with the AVEVA PI System to allow organisations to transition operations data to the cloud at their own pace. This cloud-enabled technology enables remote teams to securely share real-time data and analytics together on a single digital platform.  

AVEVA’s portfolio of data-led software solutions, built on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, is already empowering industrial businesses around the world to tackle complex challenges, such as tackling carbon emissions or alleviating supply chain inefficiencies. 

The two partners are working together to combine the power of AI, digital twins, big data, analytics and human insight with the cloud. By integrating data sets across individual and partners’ business operations, companies can collaborate and innovate in real time. This allows them to receive insights to support quick decisions that design and operating efficiencies and sustainability gains. 

One of the many businesses that has benefitted from AVEVA’s partnership with Microsoft is Enel, the world’s largest player in renewable energy. The company has more than 1,200 power plants in 21 countries and needed a holistic view of operations to help it optimise performance across its network and scale its business in response to changing market conditions.  

With AVEVA’s help, Enel created a real-time digital data backbone to serve as a single source of truth spanning all its assets. AI-infused analytics were layered over the data thread with the aim of eliminating data silos and predicting potential failures. Solutions used here include the cloud-based AVEVA Data Hub, AVEVA Edge Data Store, AVEVA PI System and AVEVA Predictive Analytics. 

The renewable energy leader now benefits from faster, more efficient and accurate decision-making. Another key performance gain included over 220 real events being detected early, preventing asset failures. Overall, Enel has optimised performance and boosted sustainability across 20 gigawatts and 1,275 power generation assets.   

In another example, City of Salem in Oregon, USA, uses data analytics to protect its drinking water from harmful algal blooms on Detroit Lake, which supplies the city with its drinking water. Recognising Detroit Lake as a valuable information repository, the city deployed sensors from a pontoon into the lake’s centre to gauge various factors, including algal activity, toxin and allergy levels, and weather data. This diverse data set is then transmitted to a high-capacity operations data system. Subsequently, ecologists and statisticians leverage this information to construct AI models. These models proactively alert city authorities to potential algal blooms based on the analysed data. 

With this information, officials can prepare appropriate responses ahead of time to ensure public safety. The entire operation takes place in real time, saving expensive hours of labour while maintaining water quality at all times. 

These business gains are typical of the way cloud-based digital collaboration can drive significant sustainability outcomes. Integrated data management solutions can improve collaboration, reduce energy consumption, slash emissions, enhance circularity and facilitate the development of innovative products and services.  

Global enterprises are generating more information about their operations than ever before. When leveraged correctly, businesses can realise sustainability gains from this organisational data while unlocking innovation and driving growth across the industrial ecosystem.  

Read more about the expanded partnership between AVEVA and Microsoft at: https://bit.ly/3Gltp28   

Harpreet Gulati is senior vice president and head of PI System business at AVEVA 

This article was originally published in the Winter 2023 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription

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