Fueling with Connected Intelligence

Fueling with Connected Intelligence

OEM transformed business model with innovative cloud approach that helps increase asset utilization and reduce costs

M.G. Bryan, a leading heavy-equipment and machinery OEM based in Grand Prairie, Texas, U.S. has been helping their end users meet production demands for more than 25 years. The company supplies engines, generators, industrial pump units, oilfield service equipment, and hazardous area power packs globally.

In the oil and gas industry, production must follow the resources and never takes a break. Fracturing vehicles can cost upwards of $1 million. They operate in extreme, isolated environments and have many consumable components. Also, they typically require new oil filters every 200 hours and complete engine rebuilds after 4,000 to 5,000 hours of service. Producers are often looking for ways to cut costs and improve ROI on rented or purchased equipment in order for this approach to be a worthwhile investment. To help its customers maximize ROI, M.G. Bryan needed to understand how its equipment was performing in real time to cost effectively keep tabs on performance and help customers maximize asset uptime.

A Cloud-Based Solution

M.G. Bryan adopted a strategic asset performance management (APM) solution, one of the Connected Services areas from Rockwell Automation, to develop a new control and information system for its fracturing vehicles that leverages the Microsoft Azure™ cloud-computing platform combined with the FactoryTalk® software suite for secure remote access to real-time information.

Each vehicle’s control system leverages an Allen-Bradley® CompactLogix™ programmable automation controller. A cloud-based version of FactoryTalk® VantagePoint® software gathers control-system data to display a comprehensive and contextualized picture of vehicle and fleet performance.

The new tightly integrated control and information system brings together disparate information sources, including historical, relational and transactional data. To fully leverage this rich data without requiring M.G. Bryan or its customers to build and manage their own data centers, Rockwell Automation utilized cloud computing. Using mobile technology and the secure and seamless transfer of business information over the cloud, M.G. Bryan has access to a higher degree of connected intelligence.

New Levels of Customer Service

“We can now pull data from the cloud via mobile devices and Web browsers to produce reports and dashboards on the condition of individual vehicles’ drive trains and fracturing performance, as well as process performance and maintenance trends related to entire fleets,” said Josh Rabaduex, director of engineering, M.G. Bryan. “The flexibility and scalability of cloud computing will help us offer holistic operations management to our expanding fleet of vehicles.”

The secure and instant visibility into remote-asset data has improved uptime and productivity for M.G. Bryan customers. For example, M.G. Bryan received a complaint and was told that their leased vehicle engine was surging, which is a hazardous case. M.G. Bryan personnel were able to immediately log in and review the data coming from the exact vehicle and advised the customer to check tanks and open a valve that was accidentally left shut. The entire scenario played out in just over 10 minutes. The customer took immediate actions, saving a potential $60,000 in replacements parts, a 100-mile service trip, worker injury and lost production time.

The APM solution has also opened the door to a new business model that reduces project risk and cost of production while improving time-to-value for these fracturing vehicles. “We are also exploring how this information can demonstrate performance to our customers and other preventative maintenance,” said Rabaduex. “Now, we can produce hard data that demonstrates how our pumps and other components last longer. We can use hard data in warranty fulfillment. We can alert our customers when it’s time to swap out air filters or come in for an engine rebuild. The possibilities seem endless.”

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