Oilfield & Energies

Air Liquide opens remote operation center in Southeast Asia

One year after the launch of the first remote operation center in France, Air Liquide has inaugurated its Smart Innovative Operations (SIO) Center for the Southeast Asia Pacific region, located in Malaysia. The SIO Center enables the remote management of production for 18 Air Liquide Large Industries production units spanning eight countries across the region, as well as optimizing energy consumption and improving reliability at these sites. Air Liquide invested €20 million in this project.

The SIO Center, located in Kuala Lumpur, integrates, optimizes and remotely controls the operations of Air Liquide’s production units, leveraging predictive analytics and digital technologies. These capabilities allow Air Liquide to better predict and accommodate changing customer needs across the region, especially regarding the supply of oxygen, nitrogen, argon and hydrogen. This new SIO Center complements the one the Group opened in Shanghai in September 2017, dedicated to production units in China.

Through big data combined with human intelligence, the workflow of each Air Liquide production unit linked to the SIO Center is adapted in real time to the needs of each customer. The SIO Center enables 24/7 responsiveness to customer demand, improves production-unit energy efficiency, and leverages predictive maintenance to ensure continuous facility run-time.

In the connected plants, new digital technologies are being deployed to simplify maintenance and inspection management operations. For instance, connected glasses allow operators to interface with experts located elsewhere while virtual reality-based training assist them in their daily tasks.

In 2017, Air Liquide also set up shared business services in Malaysia: the Financial Shared Services Center manages financial transactions for Air Liquide entities in the Southeast Asia Pacific region, while the new Smart Innovative Operations Center enables remote management of production in this region.

François Abrial, member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee supervising Asia Pacific said: “With this new center, the Group is continuing its digital transformation, enabling Air Liquide to better anticipate industrial customers’ needs while strengthening the reliability of its production units. We are glad to implement the new Smart Innovative Operations (SIO) Center in Malaysia, a highly promising market with both a solid IT infrastructure and high-skilled professionals in big data analysis.”