February 23, 2022

AI for industrial operations | A case study of Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric has used AI and machine learning in various sectors. In the oil and gas industry for example, AI is used for the operation of the Realift rod pump, which brings a new level of fluid recovery and cost reduction to oil & gas productions in new and existing wells.

The Problem

Oil pumps are expensive and remote assets, and it is important to be controlled and monitored remotely. Also, potential problems sometimes are difficult to be identified, since, for instance, they may occur in places that are not easily accessed.

The Solution

Machine learning is steering the operation of Realift rod pump control to monitor and configure pump settings and operations remotely, sending personnel onsite only when necessary for repair or maintenance – when Realift indicates that something has gone wrong. Anomalies in temperature and pressure, for instance, can flag potential problems, even issues brewing a mile below the surface. Intelligence edge devices can run analytics locally without having to tap the cloud — a huge deal for expensive, remote assets such as oil pumps.

To enable this solution an AI model is previously trained to recognise correct pump operation and also different types of failures a pump can experience, the AI model is deployed on a gateway at the oil field for each pump and is fed with data collected at each pump stroke. Then, it outputs a prediction regarding the pump state. As we mimic the expert diagnostics, predictions can be easily validated, explained and interpreted.

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