Working smarter: Why Industry 4.0 is the key to driving an intelligent energy transition

James Ramsay & Lilia Noble, December 17 2021

We are at the start of a new industrial revolution. Through digital innovation such as cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT), ‘Industry 4.0’, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, promises to transform existing operational processes and business models. At the same time, the energy sector is undergoing a transition of its own, moving from carbon-heavy to renewable sources in a global race to meet net zero.

This article will unpack how embracing the technological advances maturing within Industry 4.0 will be critical to an intelligent energy transition - wherein accurate real-time data insights are effectively utilized to inform critical decision-making for energy organizations.

Currently, energy businesses gather unprecedented volumes of data but often lack the capacity to efficiently generate actionable insights from it. This is where the technological advances of Industry 4.0 can not only interact with, but drive forward, the energy transition. Advancements in data processing, storage, and analysis can help resolve the big data issue and open up access to real-time insights, enabling the optimization of energy operations and the acceleration of an intelligent energy transition.

Digitizing the energy transition

While the Third Industrial Revolution is defined by the electrification and automation of industries, Industry 4.0 is characterized by the digitization of core industry processes and the use of technologies that increasingly integrate the physical and digital.

According to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization’s (UNIDO) report Accelerating clean energy through Industry 4.0, the energy transition and Industry 4.0 share important characteristics: both are highly influenced by technological innovations, dependent on the development of new suitable infrastructures, and are potential enablers of new business models. Especially for technology, this alignment creates the opportunity for both transitions to grow and support each other in an interconnected way.

For example - both traditional and renewable energy asset owners are seeking ways to operate more efficiently, but progress towards Industry 4.0 is currently bottlenecked by limited data integration. Technology such as edge processing and cloud storage, developed as a cornerstone of Industry 4.0, can be implemented into the energy sector to influence the way data is processed and insights are utilized by asset owners, giving them greater control over their operations and supporting their success within the energy transition.

The data challenge: too much to handle

The lingering challenge within the energy sector is that the volumes of data captured from assets - up to the equivalent of 1000 Netflix films’ worth of data every hour for an O&G asset, for example - are far too large to be effectively utilized in a timely manner. Typically data must be transferred, sometimes in hard copy, to an external site where it is analyzed by a human-led resource, which lacks the capacity to process information and share insights within enough time to influence critical decision-making.

Until assets are supported by the technical capacity to streamline enormous volumes of raw data and extricate key information in real-time, asset owners will continue to miss opportunities to optimize operations and minimize HSE risk. In missing these opportunities, organizations will find themselves on the back foot when it comes to adapting their business to keep pace with the energy transition.

Digital solutions for a digitized future

LYTT helps organizations across the Oil & Gas, Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS), and Power & Utilities sectors to leverage Industry 4.0 to harness the opportunities that stem from the energy transition. Utilizing machine learning, edge processing and cloud computing, LYTT’s innovative technology addresses the above challenge by quickly generating actionable insights from massive data volumes to create accurate, real-time insights for its customers and enable strategic, data-driven decision-making.

LYTT’s technology consists of three core components:

1. LYTT Edge™ – edge processing to intelligently extract key features from data
2. LYTT LYVE™ – cloud-based data hosting and analysis with machine learning
3. spotLYTT™ – visualization to present actionable, contextualized insights

Edge processing – LYTT Edge™

LYTT Edge™ enables intelligent feature extraction from the vast volumes of raw data captured by sensors, drawing out only the key information required for processing. This reduces the volume of data to be transmitted a thousand-fold, without compromising on data quality.

This vast reduction in data volume significantly shrinks the bandwidth required for transmission to the cloud, allowing the data to be transferred and stored reliably and instantaneously, and saving customers considerable time and money in the process.

The cloud– LYTT LYVE™

Analyzing data through a cloud-based solution enables a scalable approach to data processing. LYTT LYVE™, LYTT’s cloud-based, machine-learning engine for real-time surveillance and optimization, delivers global accessibility, automation and synchronization, for actionable, sharable insights to enhance operations.

To enable customers to meet their specific industry challenges, LYTT LYVE™ is deployable across multiple sectors and functions, ranging from reservoir visibility in Oil & Gas, CO2 monitoring and volume assurance for CCS, and event and leakage detection in Power & Utilities.

Delivering real-time insights – spotLYTT™

As cloud technology reduces the computing power needed for data analysis, LYTT is able to offer its customers an end-to-end service, visualizing data insights instantaneously. spotLYTT™, LYTT’s visualization web application, empowers its customers to make more informed decisions based on the actual performance of their asset in real-time.

The interface also arms customers with a broad range of tools, and access to historical data for assessment and comparison of insights across multiple timestamps and datasets. With these reference points, and the means to draw critical conclusions, operators are able to maximize their production potential, improve asset health, and improve ROI on their assets.

Harnessing data is the key to intelligent evolution in energy

LYTT is championing the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies to help organizations accelerate their digital journey to progress within the energy transition - applying new means of processing and analyzing data to enable businesses to accrue critical insights in real-time, and utilize them to inform a more intelligent approach to their industry challenges on the road to a net zero future.

LYTT’s cloud-based solutions are already being deployed at scale and pace to a host of different assets and sectors around the world. The energy transition is underway, but how key players in the energy sector respond, and how effectively they move towards an Industry 4.0 mindset, will be vital in creating a more robust industry landscape.

Click here to read more about how LYTT’s unique approach to sensor data extraction, processing and analysis creates value for a broad spectrum of industry players:


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