Giuseppe Caltabiano, vice president of marketing for Europe, Russia and Africa at Invensys Operations Management (IOM) explained last year at OpsManage 2009 event, that IOM Europe were seeking to establish its own European identity, as a separate business operation. Just prior to the European iteration of OpsManage 2010, INSIDER met Mike Teller, appointed IOM general manager for Northern Europe some 18 months ago.
Teller has his plans in place for the various IOM businesses in this market, particularly as to how they should address the opportunity presented by the $53 billion of ageing assets currently approaching the end-of-life stage. Many of these assets, together with an aging workforce, are in the North Sea. For Teller, Northern Europe is defined as Eire, UK and Norway, to strongly focus on the offshore oil industries, and it also includes most of the IOM oil projects in "export" territories like Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia.
To service the customer base Teller has appointed 10 technology experts as customer managers, specialists not only in control systems, but also with some of them focusing onto Foxboro measurement products, Triconex for turbomachinery and SimSci Esscor simulation products to address workforce training issues. Teller points out that Invensys SimSci Esscor is ideally placed to provide the process plant training required to counteract the recent steep growth in the rate of North Sea major injury accidents, by using new simulators that parallel aircraft flight simulators, where instructors can impose hazardous situations and incidents.
On obsolete equipment availability, Teller mentions that Foxboro is still set up to build the old pneumatic equipment still used offshore, in some places. Similarly, the IOM offering for migration claims to be unique in offering card replacement units that fit directly into the backplanes supplied with the legacy equipment from many of the previous suppliers, who are typically IOM competitors. This can significantly reduce the risk and time for a total revamp and upgrade of an aging control system, in that no site rewiring is needed.
While IOM claims a significant share in the historic supply of automation systems for the North Sea offshore oil industry, the group has a significant presence in the automation of natural gas liquefaction systems, claiming to help produce 70% of the world’s LNG, and another large share of the nuclear plant control market. The latter area has been the major source of recently issued PR over project wins, which on top of good contracts at Invensys Rail, have helped boost the Invensys group share price. Rather than looking over its shoulder at potential bidders, Teller suggested that the question was now who would Invensys seek to acquire, sitting as it is with no debt and significant cash in the bank.
A rising star based purely in the UK has been the IMServ business, currently with a GBP25-million turnover. IMServ provides carbon and energy management solutions that help organizations in all sectors to save energy, reduce costs, control carbon and be greener. These energy management systems are targeted at the major electricity and fuel users on half hourly metering, who are now involved with the compulsory UK Government CRC (Carbon Reduction Commitment) scheme. With a quoted 112,000 sites under management IMServ has the ability to serve even smaller office and retail users, as well as those in industry, and provide an entree for Eurotherm and Foxboro.