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Pioneering cloud computing asset performance management system

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The heavy equipment OEM M.G. Bryan Equipment Co., with help from Rockwell Automation and Microsoft, is piloting a system that uses Windows Azure for remote management of high-tech oil and gas equipment

Pioneering cloud computing asset performance management systemM.G. Bryan Equipment Co., a heavy equipment and machinery OEM for the oil and gas industry, is using cloud computing for remote asset management of high-tech fracturing equipment. Designed and integrated with Rockwell Automation, M.G. Bryan’s new equipment’s control and information system leverages Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Azure cloud-computing platform to help provide secure remote access to real-time information, automated maintenance alerts, and service and parts delivery requests. With Rockwell Automation, M.G. Bryan designed a simple, user-friendly system using the cloud to improve productivity and business intelligence.

Hydraulic fracturing releases petroleum or natural gas from reservoir rock for extraction. Matt Bryan, president, M.G. Bryan, says: “In the oil and gas industry, production has to follow the resources and never takes a break. Fracturing vehicles operate in extreme, isolated environments. They typically require new oil filters every 200 hours and complete engine rebuilds after 4000 to 5000 hours of service. Leveraging the cloud, we can cost-effectively keep tabs on our equipment and help customers maximise asset uptime, dramatically improving their return on investment.”

Rockwell Automation upgraded M.G. Bryan’s fracturing equipment with a tightly integrated control and information system that brings together disparate information sources, including historical, relational and transactional data. To fully leverage this rich data without requiring M.G. Bryan or its customers to build and manage their own data centres, Rockwell Automation turned to cloud computing. Using mobile technology and the seamless transfer of business information over the cloud, M.G. Bryan has access to a higher degree of connected intelligence, enabling new levels of customer service in this industry.

Sujeet Chand, chief technology officer, Rockwell Automation, says: “Our alliance with Microsoft explores industrial uses for the cloud to open the door for our customers’ innovations. For M.G. Bryan, the cloud offers a highly scalable, cost-efficient method for storing and remotely accessing real-time information that will help extend equipment lifecycles and optimise productivity. Focusing on building solutions that consider productivity, user-friendliness and connected intelligence in a scalable platform is how we leverage the pillars of Microsoft’s Discrete Industry Reference Architecture. We see this as an attractive solution for many other equipment builders and end users around the world.”

Holistic operations management

With the new system, data can be pulled from the cloud via mobile devices and Web browsers to produce reports and dashboards on the condition of individual vehicles’ drivetrains and on hydraulic fracturing performance, as well as process performance and maintenance trends related to entire fleets. The flexibility and scalability of cloud computing will help M.G. Bryan offer holistic operations management to its rapidly expanding fleet of vehicles.

Caglayan Arkan, general manager, Worldwide Manufacturing & Resources Sector, Microsoft, says: “M.G. Bryan is differentiating itself in this market through transforming its business model using an innovative cloud approach that helps reduce project risk and cost of ownership while improving time-to-value. Microsoft provided a framework that helped Rockwell Automation take advantage of Windows Azure for high-efficiency operations management in remote production environments. This platform can improve business performance and dramatically reduce system cost and complexity for M.G. Bryan.”

For further information about cloud computing for remote asset management, visit the Rockwell website at www.rockwellautomation.com.

 
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