When it comes to digitalization and intelligent manufacturing, China’s oil refining and chemicals industries often have to address the fundamental issues of data availability and consistency. Implementing digital services and the required infrastructure is a key prerequisite for digital plant operations – including data generated by the main contractors of the process automation systems and engineering companies. Even plants that are considered state-of-the-art will often lack the type of data integration that forms the basis of intelligent manufacturing.
Completing the digital transformation involves many disciplines – from engineering and design, to automation, IT and lifecycle management. One approach to the complex topic of adopting digitalization lies in combining expert knowledge from several companies for a best-in-class solution. This strategy was also the motivation behind the strategic collaboration between Sinopec and Siemens officially launched in 2016 to promote Industrie 4.0 in the petrochemicals industry. While Sinopec is an expert in petrochemicals production and process engineering, Siemens brings extensive knowledge in automation technology and digitalization into the partnership. Siemens will support Sinopec with an integrated engineering and operation platform including its Simatic PCS 7 process control system and Simit simulation, Comos engineering and management platform, Comos Walkinside and the Simatic IT manufacturing execution system and the XHQ operation intelligence and optimization software. Additionally, Sinopec and Siemens will work together on the development of technologies and solutions.