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Wed 9 Jan 2019 11:41 AM

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Augmented reality helping train oil workers for disasters, says Schneider Electric CEO

Schneider Electric CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire said that augmented reality technology can help virtually prepare operators for leaks and fires at refineries and offshore platforms

Augmented reality helping train oil workers for disasters, says Schneider Electric CEO
Jean-Pascal Tricoire, the global chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric.

Digitisation and augmented reality can help prepare employees for many hazards present in oil refineries and offshore platforms and significantly improve safety levels, according to Jean-Pascal Tricoire, the global chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric.

Speaking to Arabian Business in a recent interview, Tricoire – whose company is working with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) to help digitise its operations – said that over the last five years augmented reality has advanced to the point in which it can help negate the need for potentially dangerous on-site training.

“When you send operators to things as complicated as a refinery or an offshore platform, or downstream facilities, you need to train people,” he said. “In the old world, which is not digitised, you train people at existing sites, which takes a lot of time. Very often you do training on-site, with people actually at work.”

The solution, Tricoire explained, is to create “digital twins” of installations.

“Before dispatching someone offshore, to a platform, which by nature is potentially very risky, you can train people on major accidents or incidents that could happen,” he said. “You can train people in a completely virtual environment, trigger a leak or a fire, and give them very clear indications on what can happen.”

Additionally, Tricoire said that digitisation allows operators to identify problems in particular machines or systems without necessarily having to open or physically examine them.

“As it is all connected, the system will break down the issue, and say, for example, that you need this [particular] spare part, or to switch off a particular circuit,” he said.

Last year, Schneider and ADNOC announced that the two had worked together to form a “Panorama Command Centre’ to provide real-time insights on the global operations of 16 different ADNOC operating companies.

According to a January 2017 report from the World Economic Forum, energy digitisation has the potential to unlock $1.6 trillion in value by 2025.

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