SK Innovation employees work on comprehensive compressor monitoring. [Photo by SK Innovation Co.]
South Korea’s largest oil refiner SK Innovation Co. is speeding up its plan to upgrade its automated factory system with Internet of Things (IoT) technology that is expected to further improve production efficiency and reliability.
The company announced on Thursday that it is building a “smart plant,” which will be an advancement from the already prevalent automated factory system in the country’s petrochemical industry. The new smart plant system is actively incorporating the IoT technology to enhance efficiency and reliability, added the company.
Since last year, SK Innovation has been testing the new system at its Ulsan complex, including real-time inspection of toxic gas, risk prediction and management with machine learning, process analysis and operation using big data, and digitization of documents.
Armed with machine learning technology, the upgraded risk prediction system will study past data concerning compressor malfunctions to prevent future accidents. The new system that will detect in real-time any defects in the compressor and take preemptive actions is expected to help the company save risk management costs that could often amount to billions of won due to damages made from delayed responses with human engineers’ monitoring, the company explained.
SK Innovation has currently applied the smart plant system in two of its compressors. It hopes that extending its application to 100 compressors would significantly boost production efficiency.
The company said it has already tested the system and verified its applicability, and plans to apply it throughout the Ulsan complex and to other sites in the future.
By Jung Wook
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