March 2019

Columns

Digital: Digitalization—Why now?

The process industries are under threat.

Micklem, D., KBC, a Yokogawa Company

The process industries are under threat. Their products are encountering substitution while market demand is stagnant; their means of production are challenged by alternative technologies; local communities do not like dangerous, noisy, smelly or highly visible assets on their doorsteps; regulators are making it costlier to operate; retiring employees are depleting the industry knowledge pool; and tech industries are attracting potential new talent. Faced with such an environment, investment choices are limited and capital is scarce; physical infrastructure is aging and inflexible. Operational technology (OT) is required to last a quarter of a century—many process operations are controlling

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