PMA 2013 Process Management with the Head up in the (Data) Clouds?

Editor: Dominik Stephan

From mining big data to preventive error detection – This year’s Process Management Academy (PMA) presented by ARC Advisory Group and PROCESS was focused on the more holistic approach of process and asset management. But, despite all technological developments, people remain the factor that makes or breaks a given system…

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Participants share their experiences with speakers and audience…
Participants share their experiences with speakers and audience…
(Picture: PROCESS)

„Think carefully how to architect a system,“ explains Anneke Vemer of Exxon Mobil the Dos and Don’ts of process system setups at this year’s PMA 2013. From March 4th to 5th, roughly 100 executives and decision makers from all kind of process industries met at Antwerp’s Radisson Hotel to discuss trends and developments in process management. Several discussions and workshops addressed topics like cyber security or plant or device life cycles.

“What was the first thing you did on your arrival?” asked Uwe Grundmann of ARC Consulting the audience. “Was it looking for an internet access for your smartphone, tablet or notebook?” Interconnectivity and the intelligent devices where certainly a trend at the ninth PMA. But the “age of mobile devices” as Grundmann calls it brings also another aspect to the focus: What to do with the data?

“Data is All Over the Place!”

“Data is all over the place!” emphasized Karel Crombach of Microsoft the importance of the topic. And while the American software giant may not be the premier specialist for chemical processes, the company eagerly promotes concepts of decentral data storage and evaluation. Crombach’s vision: Why not correlate the heap of gathered data and learn from coincidences?

If e.g. data of a plant failure could be related to certain weather conditions, operators might have a chance to predict such incidents by taking preventive measures. Measures, such as maintenance or troubleshooting works. Yet the audience remained skeptical: Bringing your asset data into the cloud could open the door for espionage and cybercrime, participants feared.

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