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Latest News From Nova Systems

Nova Systems Insights - Digitalisation and Safety

Nov 15, 2018

Digital strategies are a hot topic these days, with every business and industrial sector striving to determine how digitalisation can impact the bottom line.

Doug Hollett, Senior Energy Advisor, & BJ Martin, Safety & Certification Lead – Co-Lead Authors

The technology can be ripe, but if it is not integrated it can result in fast and expensive value erosion.  Integrating across different functions and operations might seem daunting, but if done correctly, the prize is streamlined operations, multi-layered efficiencies, and big bottom-line financial benefits.

“Digitalisation is a key enabler to even higher safety standards”

Laurent Troger, President of Bombardier Transportation, International Transport Forum at the OECD, March 2018

Perhaps less talked about is the potential for impact of effective operational digitalisation on safety.  Safety is at the top of every company priority list, but we often lack the durable tools and insight to make robust, lasting decisions.  Precise opportunities depend on the sector, but fundamentally improving safety results means removing people from harm’s way wherever practicable. This means giving personnel the right data and analysis to make informed decisions, balancing multiple operational factors and considerations.  It also requires a firm commitment to a systems based understanding of how the entire operation fits and works together, using sensor data and information simultaneously fused from multiple trusted and diverse sources.  Done correctly, integrated digital operations using fit for purpose data will enhance situational awareness, leading to improved safety-related decisions.

“Companies need to set a strategic ambition for digital, challenge orthodoxies in the way they work, invest in building digital capabilities while focusing on ROI, and shift cultures and ways of working.”

Digital Australia: Seizing opportunities from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, By Simon Blackburn, Michaela Freeland, and Dorian Gärtner, McKinsey & Company Report, May 2017

By example, the underground mining sector is more rapidly moving towards autonomous underground systems, with attendant challenges in communications, tracking and personnel positioning.   Integrated and trusted digital implementation means architecting and assuring multiple sensors and connected systems, with the ability to rapidly and remotely re-task equipment to highest-value operations and routing.  By minimising human operators in trucks, and removing personnel from physical operating zones, there is less risk of injury and accident.

In oil and gas plant operations, digitalisation of multiple systems can include flow rate, pressure, and volume measurements and calculations.  Digital models and remote management of compressors, wellheads and gathering systems means fewer people on the road doing scheduled and often unneeded physical checkups; you only send staff out when needed and can instead focus on the highest value work. The list of digital control potential goes on – importantly, the safety benefits reverberate throughout your business and with your reputation.

Learnings can be applied from the aerospace industry, where leading companies such as Boeing have gained long-standing benefits by assuring complex systems to engineered requirements and operational concepts before successfully deploying them into the field.  From our test pilot co-founder through to our clients in the high hazard industries we now serve – Nova Systems appreciates, better than most, that safety has to be done right the first time.  Done correctly, digitalisation can help to enable this to happen.

The above Insight has been published from Nova Systems Energy & Resources program. For further information regarding Digitalisation and Safety, contact Tim Anderson, Program Manager – Energy & Resources  tim.anderson@novasystems.com

 

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NOVA SYSTEMS INSIGHTS - Digital Twin for Energy and Resources Sectors

Nov 8, 2018

The 4th industrial revolution is well underway in the Energy and Resources sectors, harnessing digital technology to combine the physical and digital worlds into a new kind   of intelligent operation.

Shane Hemmens, Senior Systems Engineer – Lead Author

Some early adopters have already made the transition to “Smart Operations”, while many others are only now exploring the benefits that digital technology can deliver.  In this rapidly changing environment, Nova Systems has developed digital technologies and capabilities which have the ability to help you remain competitive with, or even be ahead of your competitors.

The challenge of digitalisation is not just choosing the right technologies, but also integrating them seamlessly with the asset in a way that delivers consistent long-term savings. In addition, it’s a complex environment, and operators will need to embrace multiple digital technologies in order to unlock the kind of value needed to keep an asset profitable and competitive until the end of its planned life. The ‘lower for longer’ commodity price environment requires a ‘smarter for longer’ response. But where to start? A key enabler of any integrated approach to digitalisation is the Digital Twin.

 

“A Digital Twin is a dynamic, virtual representation of an asset that is permanently connected to its physical counterpart through digital data.”

 

Data collected from the physical asset provides the operational context (i.e. the “experience”) that allows the Digital Twin to mimic the behaviour of the real asset, while allowing the operator to employ digital tools to gain insights, improve effectiveness, and make better decisions about the operation of the asset.

The majority of Digital Twins available in the market today are either simulation-based twins or data-based twins. This is a 1st-generation approach.  Simulation and data analytics are useful for understanding more about the behaviour of the physical asset, and can be used to solve simple or moderate problems that have few interdependencies. Usually, however, the asset operates within a complex operation made up of numerous equipment, people and processes. The operation itself may exist within a complex business that is driven by strategic goals, market factors (financial and commodity) and internal dependencies. Turning useful asset insights into actual business value requires the complexity at all these levels to be captured. The goal is to create a Digital Twin of the enterprise, not just the equipment.

 

“The Nova Digital Twin combines simulation, modelling and data analytics as well as top-down business modelling into a single integrated platform”

 

This combination allows for customisation of the Digital Twin to solve specific client problems and provides the capability to address a wide range of issues, including those that cannot be solved by simulation or data analytics alone.

Characteristics of the Nova Digital Twin

  • Created using Systems Engineering methods to focus on high-yield Use Cases (transformational benefits)
  • Capture business and engineering workflows as well as physical assets
  • Enterprise-wide integrated view of choke points and opportunities
  • Provides live insights into performance, safety, cost drivers and asset integrity
  • Strong and stable performance in constantly changing systems
  • Platform to integrate further digital technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things (IoT)

 

The Nova Digital Twin is a platform customised for our clients by building it around specific problems to be solved, called Use Cases. By collaborating with our clients through agile development techniques, we are able to provide a Digital Twin that delivers immediate benefits while providing a scalable solution that will continue to deliver business value in the long term:

  • Subject matter expert (SME) knowledge capture and re-use for improved decision making
  • Dynamic responses (playbooks) for selected scenarios to minimise down time and lost production
  • Real-time monitoring and alerts for asset integrity and process safety
  • Constant predictive look-ahead based on accurate network modelling and simulation
  • Virtual training environment for scenario replay and what-if assessments
  • Improved planning and forecasting for daily production

 

“The Nova Digital Twin provides a single-source-of-truth reference point that ensures a common set of business intelligence is updated in near real-time and shared across the whole organisation from top to bottom”

 

The single-source-of-truth principle improves decision making and enhances business agility – the ability for the organisation to respond rapidly to changing internal or external influences in a coordinated manner. When applied to various levels of an organisation, the insights provided by the Nova Digital Twin can deliver specific benefits to user groups at all levels.

 

The above Insight has been published from Nova Systems Energy & Resources program. For further information regarding Digital Twin for Energy and Resources Sectors, contact Tim Anderson, Program Manager – Energy & Resources  tim.anderson@novasystems.com

 

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NOVA SYSTEMS INSIGHTS – DIGITAL TWIN FOR ENERGY & RESOURCES SECTORS

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Nova Systems to Exhibit at MilCIS 2018

Nov 5, 2018

Nova Systems – along with Nova Group partner Geoplex – are exhibiting at the Military Communications and Information Systems (MilCIS) Conference 2018 in Canberra 13 -15 November.

MilCIS is a unique opportunity for those investing in government and military communications and information systems.

In November each year, the Defence Chief Information Officer Group (CIOG) partners with the University of New South Wales, Canberra and the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) to present MilCIS.

MilCIS is the only Australian conference that focuses strategically on the crucial technologies, products, systems and services associated with military communications and information systems.

Visit our stand at #F28 in the Ballroom Foyer to find out why Nova Systems is the trusted partner in the assured delivery of sovereign cyber, intelligence, spectrum and space capability.

http://www.milcis.com.au/

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Nova Systems Insights - Digitalisation as a Critical Tool in Asset Valuations, Acquisitions and Dispositions

Oct 31, 2018

Historically, energy, resources and mining mergers and acquisitions (M&A) analysis have relied heavily on conventional asset valuation techniques.

Doug Hollet, Senior Energy Advisor – Lead Author

These techniques use reserve calculations and production projections, discounted cash flow analysis, and technical upside assessment based on history and analogue examples.  Commercial opportunity for return on investment usually arises from a variety of areas including untapped potential, operational synergies, the ability to optimise commercial terms, and both hedging and pricing.  It’s a fairly traditional approach which is increasingly efficient and done similarly throughout the sector, however  it is often hard to identify real game-changing value.

Enter the new world of digitalisation strategies, Digital Twins, and so-called “Big Data”.  Companies now have the ability to use massive amounts of information to uncover previously hidden value.  However, it’s not as simple as just crunching numbers. The analysis needs to be done with one foot firmly planted in an operational and systems engineering reality, knowing the physics and characteristics of the asset being assessed.  One cannot just throw huge amounts of raw data at a digital wall and expect to get anything other than out-of-context analysis. The key here is to emulate a working model of the asset through a well-constructed and accurate Digital Twin.

A Digital Twin is a dynamic, virtual representation of an asset that is permanently connected to its physical counterpart through digital data. Data collected from the physical asset provides the operational context (i.e. the “experience”) that allows the Digital Twin to mimic the behaviour of the real equipment, while allowing the operator to employ digital tools to gain insights, improve effectiveness, and make better decisions about the operation of the asset.

 

“Nova Systems has delivered a number of innovative digital evaluations, assessments and projects, which illustrate the vast potential of digitalisation.”

We’ve enabled our clients to:

  • optimise field operations through the application of a Digital Twin of a gas gathering system;
  • build a vision and technology road map to automate an underground mining heavy truck fleet;
  • digitalise remote wireless communications; and
  • develop approaches to lower power costs to energy-intensive sectors.

 

How can this be used?  A common problem is understanding where hidden long-term value really lies. As an asset owner, a digitalisation strategy allows you to prioritise projects and investments and understand where the upside is through asset emulation and data analysis. You can shed low value assets and truly improve your core financials. As a purchaser, a Digital Twin permits more accurate and in-depth understanding of the hidden value in a property through asset operation digital optimisation and allows finely calibrated offers.  And as an investor, a Digital Twin lowers risk across the board – operational, resource and reserve, and cash flow,  through asset operation digital emulation with the application of “what if” scenarios, dramatically lowering risk and uncertainty.   Used properly, it’s the new tool in the investor tool kit.

Should you be doing this?  We believe so. Innovative low-cost operators are rapidly transforming their operations to have highly agile digitalisation strategies running constantly and are quickly finding that they can decrease downtime, improve maintenance schedules, and increase production with relatively small investments of time and personnel.  It allows staff to focus on the high value tasks they are truly trained for and move out of reactive “fix-the-problem” roles.   Integrated digitalisation of complex operations done by a team which understands data analysis and testing and operations, is the transformational step you need.

 

The above Insight has been published from Nova Systems Energy & Resources program. For further information regarding Digitalisation within complex operations, contact Tim Anderson, Program Manager – Energy & Resources  tim.anderson@novasystems.com

 

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NOVA SYSTEMS INSIGHTS – Digitalisation as a Critical Tool in Asset Valuations, Acquisitions and Dispositions

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