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Shell to Adopt Digital Twin Technology at Singapore Refinery

Zacks Equity Research
·3 mins read

Royal Dutch Shell plc RDS.A plans to initiate a four-year pilot project at its Pulau Bukom refinery to implement the Digital Twin technology. This advanced technology at the manufacturing site is believed to improve productivity, reliability and safety when it will be fully functional in 2024.

The Digital Twin innovation will serve as a complete virtual representation of the physical elements at the production plant with its ability to dynamically respond to the changes in conditions in the place. Per Damian Chan, executive vice-president at the Singapore Economic Development Board, Shell’s strong move to pilot the Digital Twin solution in this Southeast Asian country is encouraging as it sets a precedent for how the energy and chemicals sector can make the most of technology to embrace the Industry 4.0 standard.

Pulau Bukom Island is a core integrated energy plant in the Asia-Pacific region with a capacity to produce 500,000 barrels of oil a day. The site already piloted a wide range of technologies, such as drones, 3D printing and AR. These were the reasons for choosing the location to pioneer the Digital Twin technology.

Shell is committed to transform Singapore’s Bukom and Jurong Island into a globally competitive destination by fusing human capabilities with advanced digitalization technologies. This energy player was the first company to set up a refinery in Singapore, which has 1300 personnel posted at its 59-year-old plant.

Over the last year, Shell had organized various hackathons and digital boot camps for a staff of 140 to improve its digital capabilities and competence at the hub. Over the next couple of years, the entire employee strength of Shell’s Bukom including management, engineers and technicians will be trained to operate the incoming technology. The company plans to invest more than 6000 training hours a year starting 2021 in a bid to drive the Digital Twin transformation.

Notably, Shell is not the sole energy player taking such strategic steps. Another manufacturing entity Siemens too reportedly cashed in on this technology. Last year, the firm introduced Sinumerik ONE, a digital native CNC controller with software skills to develop a digital twin technology. The controller is devised in such a tricky fashion that machine manufacturers can easily engineer a complete virtual representation of their developments and machine processes.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Shell currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked players in the same space are Murphy USA Inc. MUSA, CNOOC Limited CEO and SilverBow Resources Inc. SBOW, each presently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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