INTERVIEW: Mohamad Awad, vice president for regional sales, AVEVA

INTERVIEW: Mohamad Awad, vice president for regional sales, AVEVA
Published: 16 June 2019 - 7 a.m.

Mohamad Awad, the vice president for regional sales in the MEA region at AVEVA, talks about the company’s new Asset Performance Management 4.0 solution, as well as how Industrie 4.0 is empowering workforces by democratising access to data 

1.  Is the optimism and hype behind Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industrie 4.0 justified?

For any industry that is heavily reliant on its assets, there is a constant need to reconcile the need for reliable asset performance that is responsive to aggressive targets, with cost control and safety. Optimal monitoring and maintenance becomes crucial in these instances. Incoherent scheduling of maintenance, lack of data driven operational visibility, ad-hoc inventory and sub-optimal equipment will sooner or later translate into losses and lack of competitiveness. A technology enabled approach that leverages Cloud, big data, IIoT, system modeling and advanced analytics, facilitates a strategy led and predictive operation.

The enthusiastic optimism, around the suite of related technologies within the labels Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industrie 4.0, is justified. These emerging solutions have the potential to completely redefine production, and industrial processes in general. The capacity to tweak metrics so they approach ideal standards - from resource utilisation to production cost - is no small advantage for an organisation to have.

2.  How important is asset performance management (APM)?

 It’s generally not possible for organisations to generate a quick fix solution to address deficits in asset performance monitoring and maintenance. APM typically traces a time and investment dependent trajectory in maturity, and one of the important pre-requisites to identifying solutions is the ability to gauge the existing level of maturity. Accurate assessment can then be followed by the right strategy and sequential steps.

Organisations, across all industries, seek to achieve optimal production and profitability while enhancing compliance and asset utilisation. These multiple, and sometimes competing priorities, can present challenges. APM provides customers a clear understanding of their current operations and possibilities for improvement, while producing the quickest and most substantial financial gains. Such an assessment can then lead to a plan to execute identified strategies, as well as in creating effective roles and roadmaps for people, processes, and systems (IT and OT), within the organisation.

Some of the key areas of assessment include: asset master data management, asset performance objectives, APM strategies, planning and preparation, workflow management, inventory and procurement, monitoring and KPIs, cost management and value realisation, structural failure analysis, APM organisation, skill and knowledge management, sourcing strategy, IT and OT systems and continuous improvement and auditing.

 3.  Could you briefly explain about AVEVA’s new APM 4.0?

 AVEVA APM 4.0 leverages the use of innovative software to deliver enterprise asset management, mobile operator rounds and predictive asset analytics, which helps businesses attain optimal real-world performance in asset availability and utilisation, while proactively minimising downtime and asset failure. APM 4.0 Assessment is oriented around company objectives, organisation dynamics, regulatory requirements, supply chain, and maintenance KPIs. The APM 4.0 Improvement Roadmap identifies clear and explicit targets and expected ROI, along with a defined and specific action plan that reconciles optimal short-term and long-term strategies. Insights focus on four key areas, which include managing scarce resources, critical assets, tight budgets, and achieving compliance.

Some time ago a global leader in sustainable food, feed and fuel solutions from organic by-products initiated an APM Assessment to outline a plan to optimise preventive maintenance. The object was to reduce costs, mitigate compliance risks, improve OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) and increase competitiveness. Over a 3 to 4 year period, the business wanted to standardise data structure and optimise maintenance strategy. AVEA’s APM Assessment identified gaps in the maintenance framework and used process specific data to evaluate available options and create an improvement roadmap. The enterprise was able to generate significant savings and improvements which included a 35% reduction in maintenance cost, increase in margin with product quality improvement 26% MRO stock reduction and 25% reduction in unplanned downtime.

4.  What are the challenges involved in digital transformation?

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and the industrial internet of things are redefining industrial processes and process management. The new paradigm of productivity focuses not only on operating each element at maximum efficiency, but on the creation of systemic optimisation and synergy. We operate in an industrial ecosystem that is constantly under the active influence of improvements in technology, disruptive new players, a continuous and ongoing refinement of business operations, evolving environmental awareness and a redefined paradigm in workforce management.

Digital transformation is the key to addressing this intricate and interdependent ecology of influences and priorities. What really sets the deployment of technology apart, however, is integration. Not all strategies and deployments are created equal. For a digital transformation to be most effective and best aligned with the organisation, technology, workforces and processes must be optimally integrated. A technologically and organisationally optimised business is a complex organism with multiple variables in play. The key to the successful deployment of the innovations redefining industry is in the ability to take the right steps at the right time.

5.  How will AVEVA APM 4.0 guide companies through the digital transformation process?

AVEVA APM 4.0 allows businesses the ability to integrate their physical assets, data, and processes and to achieve this transformation with the most sequentially effective and customised strategic approach. Our solution helps organisations meet and exceed reliability, safety and performance goals with a powerful and enterprise ready solution. It empowers organisation with the definitive solution for effective data collection, insightful analysis, actionable strategies and prescriptive intelligence. AEVA APM 4.0 delivers operational advantages through a 5 fold enhancement. It promotes better risk management, by balancing the risk, cost and performance of assets, to maximise return on asset investment. It enables the effective digitising of workforces by enhancing operational utilisation and the safety and efficiency of assets, while reducing downtime and maintenance costs. 


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