Product News: GE Digital Remote Operations for Oil/Gas/Chemicals

Feb. 10, 2021
Scalable solution provides secure remote/mobile plant controls enabling operators to employ flexible staffing arrangements.

GE Digital introduced Remote Operations for Oil & Gas and Chemical Industries, a software and appliance solution that provides remote/mobile employee access to essential equipment monitoring and control functions. GE Digital began offering Remote Operations earlier in 2020 in the Power Generation industry and already has many leading worldwide industrial customers using the solution.

“Traditional on-site plant workforce strategies are evolving, as economic and competitive forces are compelling industrial companies to adopt centralized monitoring, flexible resourcing, and remote staffing, trends that were all greatly accelerated by the pandemic and will become part of the new normal,” said Craig Resnick, vice president, ARC Advisory Group. “GE Digital’s Remote Operations for Oil & Gas and Chemical Industries meets the criteria for enabling remote and mobile access for a connected workforce regardless of location. That helps to facilitate collaboration and provides secure access to monitoring and control functionality to appropriate individuals from anywhere and supports interactions with remote experts.”

Remote Operations provides remote and mobile workers with secure and managed access to equipment controls, regardless of type, per GE Digital. NERC-CIP and ISA 99/62443 compliant security, multi-factor authentication, and operational safeguards enable failsafe control flexibility and cooperation across all staff, on site and off site.

Typical use cases for Remote Operations in the Oil & Gas and Chemical industries include:

  • Centralized monitoring of distant and dispersed equipment 
  • Lights-out operation of distant facilities
  • Remote monitoring and controls over refinery or plant equipment
  • Mobile controls and HQ collaboration for maintenance crew activities
  • Anytime/anywhere access to experts to aid in equipment maintenance
  • Remote/mobile monitoring and controls for in-house power generation facilities

“Our success in the Power Generation industry leads naturally to offering Remote Operations to Oil & Gas and Chemicals companies,” said Linda Rae, general manager for GE Digital’s Power Generation and Oil & Gas business. “These and other industries are seeking the benefits of remote and centralized monitoring centers, worker location flexibility, and increased safety and productivity for mobile workers. We are here to serve that need with a proven product already road tested in the stringent environment of power generators.”

Remote Operations is available in three upwardly compatible packages, accommodating needs from urgent continuity to fault tolerant operations centers, according to its maker. All include the core end-to-end security and compliance features.

Remote Operations Response is a special packaged offer to rapidly enable remote monitoring and assistance. It is compatible with existing systems and requires only the addition of a preconfigured secure network appliance and firewall. Upon equipment arrival, installation can be done in a single working day with remote support from GE Digital. No operations shutdown is required.

Remote Operations Standard (limited availability) delivers enhanced remote/mobile functions guarded by permitting and policy controls. Central operators can control remote/mobile worker access by time, equipment type and more. An interactive interface ensures that remote, mobile, and on-site staff can work independently or together in a secure and compliant environment.  

Remote Operations Advanced (limited availability) provides full remote / mobile controls and additional optional operating capabilities in a high availability configuration with failover. Remote Operations Advanced is the best choice for industrials adopting remote and distributed controls as a standard, failsafe operating model across a fleet of plants or equipment, claimed GE Digital.

GE Digital’s Remote Operations for Oil & Gas and Chemical Industries is generally available. More information can be found here.