At present, we often hear the term “technology,” “digital,” “online,” or “innovation” in our everyday life. But many may not be aware of how digital innovation can help the business boost operational efficiencies and improve industry performance.
Chemicals Business, SCG, is among leading companies that incorporates digital technologies in the industry. Mr. Mongkol Hengrojanasophon, Vice President – Olefins Business and Operations, has explained the concept of digital innovation saying it is a way to create disruptive innovation to meet the needs of users by harnessing two key technologies: IT and OT. The IT/OT convergence is an integration of Information Technology (TI) systems used for data-centric computing and Operational Technology (OT) systems in the form of hardware or software used to manage and analyze massive operational data to seek solutions, improve performance efficiency and provide better prediction.
Digital Innovation is Key to Effective Business Management.
Digital innovation isn’t always translated as product development that previously non-existent or unprecedented. It is about incorporating technologies into massive operational data and creating innovative data management that fits the user’s needs. SCG adopts the approach and integrates the convergence into the management of plant or data to raise the organization’s competitiveness.
For instance, Augmented Reality (AR), a technology that generates a three-dimensional scene where physical real-world environment is superimposed with virtual images, is implemented to analyze the plant’s machinery. The technology offers an integration of actual machine images and computer-generated ones that allow engineers to inspect machine conditions through devices or computers from remote locations. Alternatively, the device like drone can be integrated with RFID technology (Radio Frequency Identification) to help seamlessly trace the progress of the construction project. In brief, digital technology is developed to facilitate the customer’s or user’s needs.
Put Technology and Customer Insight at The Heart of Digital Innovation
SCG’s concept of working on digital innovation is to keep close with technology and know customers both inside and out. In addition, having operational data ready for technology integration will help facilitate speedy innovation creation.
“Chemicals Business, SCG, has over 30 years of experience in petrochemical plant management. We have a clear idea of what will help streamline performance, ranging from production process efficiency improvement, safety to maintenance. We leverage those demands as a starting point to seek new solutions to address existing problems more effectively and speedily.”
Thinking of it as an equation and Y is the preferable output, Y shall consist of many factors such as X1 + X2 + X3 + X4 in which we may not yet realize how each X affects Y. However, when add all data into the statistical process and harness digital innovation i.e. Artificial Intelligence (AI), the system will help select relevant data and calculate the impacts on how adding and lowering each X input affects Y output. AI will create an algorithm and present solutions for us.
“We need to start with the concept of how to make the operations becoming more automation-savvy. And then harness automation and information to create an algorithm. In the past, decisions are based on human expertise. Once changing the person, judgment will be altered based on the person’s different knowledge and experiences. On the contrary, AI embodies decisions based on rationale and data. In another word, it is like gathering all experiences and information in one system.”
SCG’s Next Step of Leveraging Digital Innovation
In the past two decades, Chemicals Business has developed over 60 AIs for plant management. Therefore, its next goal is to create digital innovation to satisfy the needs of Chemicals Business’s customers more speedily and effectively.
Mr. Mongkol concluded, “In the past, SCG had merely focused on the development of innovations to meet the needs of customers. However, we now want to exceed expectations and take our innovation to the next level by creating digital innovation that meets customers’ needs. We need to look forward and keep up with trends. Moreover, importantly, we need to truly understand customer insights, so that we can develop innovations to suit their needs. Our creation may not be achievable right away, but through mistakes, we can make improvements or what we call “Agile Process,” which enable us to continuously and increasingly satisfy the customer’s demands and society.
The implementation of digital innovation in business is not just purchasing a new program or installing a data collection tool in the plant. It is instead to identify the real business need to seek an appropriate way or tool for it. Harnessing innovation can help improve current operational efficiency. The key is to remain close with cutting-edge and emerging technologies and quickly learn how to implement it with existing data. Even though the result may not meet our expectations immediately, we need to instantly get back into it. As a result, the business can keep up in the era of digital progression and gain competitive advantages.
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