No longer content to merely provide rock-solid control systems and instrumentation to the process industries, Yokogawa has significantly built out the top end of its technology and services portfolio and is aiming to take on with its customers their highest level business challenges.
These sweeping issues include rapidly changing business environments, supply chain visibility and optimization, sustainability and the circular economy, as well as profitability holistically optimized throughout the entire lifecycle of a production facility—from design through decommissioning and every stage in between, according to Shigeyoshi Uehara, vice president, IA Process Control Instruments Business, Yokogawa Electric Corp., in his opening address at this week’s Yokogawa Users Conference in Orlando.
“Digital transformation is bringing on a profound transformation of the organization,” Uehara said. “We hope to be the partner you rely on, to help make you ready.”
Uehara acknowledged that making the leap from preferred supplier of process automation systems to trusted partner will require Yokogawa to develop forward-looking collaborations based on shared vision with its customers as well as delivery of best-in-class performance, profitability and continuous value creation.
Build out of business expertise
For its part, Yokogawa has heavily invested in building out its business domain expertise in recent years, notably through its 2016 acquisition of KBC Advanced Technologies. KBC’s leading domain expertise in the energy and chemical industries—along with its acquisition of Industrial Knowledge and investment in Soteica Visual Mesa—now allow Yokogawa to bring together both operational technology (OT) and informational technology (IT) solutions expertise under an umbrella of business strategy consulting. “These acquisitions brought new expertise to the organization,” Uehara said.
Indeed, Yokogawa now offers a full portfolio of solutions along the IT/OT spectrum: from field instruments and analyzers to distributed control and safety instrument systems on the OT side, to new IIoT sensors, edge/fog computing solutions, energy management and simulation on the IT/IIoT side, brought together with strategic consulting, process analysis with machine learning, and profit-driven operations expertise.
The company also recently unveiled a rebranding of its automation technology and services portfolio under the OpreX banner, including the OpreX Measurement, OpreX Control, OpreX Execution, OpreX Transformation and OpreX Lifecycle offerings. The new OpreX portfolio is intended to offer benefits in the areas of resilient operation, optimized production and business innovation. The company’s combined capabilities in these arenas will deliver annual benefits in the range of $10 million to $100 million USD to a typical 200,000-bpd refinery, Uehara said.
Under the banner of “Synaptic Business Automation,” which was also the theme of this year’s Users Conference, Yokogawa sees the opportunity for its customers to benefit by working together to connect all aspects of their businesses, much like a neural network.
“Synaptic Business Automation creates sustainable value by connecting everything in our customer’s organization,” Uehara said. “Yokogawa integrates its business and domain knowledge with digital automation technologies, and co-innovates with their customers to drive business process transformation.”