Industrial Gases Digital Transformation: Remote Operation of Air Liquide Units
Air Liquide inaugurated in France, in the frame of the "Connect" project, an operation center that is unique in the industrial gas sector
Paris/France — The remote operation centre enables the remote management of production for 22 of the Group’s units in France. Connect represents an investment of € 20 million and is certified by the "Industry of the Future Alliance" — an association gathering Industry and Digital Technology professional organizations in France.
The project is based on the implementation of new digital technologies at French production sites, the company said.
Capable of stopping or restarting a site remotely, the operation center adapts the production level of the plants according to customer demand. The workflows of each unit can be adapted in real time to the needs of each customer. The volume of production and the delivery of gases to customers can be optimized in this way
Through the analysis of big data 24/7 for 22 sites in France, the industrial gases provider is developing predictive maintenance for production sites by identifying the weak signals that precede a malfunction. Algorithms devised by the company's engineers are used to fine-tune equipment adjustments in plants in order to optimize energy consumption by using nearly 15 years of data gathered from all industrial sites.
Innovation through Collaboration
Connect is part of an open approach involving the local economy, the French ecosystem for technology start-ups and the on-site production teams. It brings together over 100 local businesses, including more than 10 French start-ups. The project, which is intentionally collaborative, gathers teams from each Large Industries site in France and the other Group entities including in particular the i-Lab, Air Liquide’s innovation lab.
In the plants, new technologies (touch tablets, 3D scanning, video tutorials, etc.) are also being introduced to simplify maintenance and inspection management operations and the organization of daily tasks for operators.
Guy Salzgeber, Senior Vice-President and member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee supervising Europe Industries, said: "We are proud to implement the first industrial gases remote operation center, which contribute to strengthen the Group's competitiveness. The Group's digital transformation is taking a new step, enabling Air Liquide to even better anticipate the needs of its industrial customers while strengthening the reliability of its production units."