Malaysia SIO centre helps Air Liquide optimize regional operations with Big Data

Francois Abrial
Francois Abrial, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Air Liquide Group

Air Liquide has inaugurated its Smart Innovative Operations (SIO) Centre for the Southeast Asia Pacific region, located in Malaysia. The SIO Centre, located in Kuala Lumpur, enables the remote management of production for 18 Air Liquide Large Industries production units spanning eight countries across the region. By leveraging on predictive analytics and digital technologies, the RM96 million SIO Centre helps integrate and optimize regional operations by remotely controlling the operations of Air Liquide production units in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines.

“With this new centre, the Group is continuing its digital transformation, enabling Air Liquide to better anticipate industrial customers’ needs while strengthening the reliability of its production units. We are glad to implement the new Smart Innovative Operations Centre in Malaysia, a highly promising market with both a solid IT infrastructure and high-skilled professionals in big data analysis,” said François Abrial, member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee supervising Asia Pacific.

These capabilities allow Air Liquide to better predict and accommodate changing customer needs across the region, especially regarding the supply of oxygen, nitrogen, argon and hydrogen. This new SIO Centre complements the one the Group opened in Shanghai in September 2017, dedicated to production units in China.

Leveraging on digital technologies

Air Liquide SIO Centre Malaysia - 04
The Malaysia SIO controls 18 production units across 6 countries

Experts from the Air Liquide research and development teams have developed a new analytic system applicable to all the company’s production sites around the world, which models the energy consumption profiles of each unit. This new analysis program is used by the SIO centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Through big data combined with human intelligence, the workflow of each Air Liquide production unit linked to the SIO Centre is adapted in real time to the needs of each customer. The SIO Centre enables 24/7 responsiveness to customer demand, improves production-unit energy efficiency, and leverages predictive maintenance to ensure continuous facility run-time.

In the connected plants, new digital technologies are being deployed to simplify maintenance and inspection management operations. For instance, connected glasses allow operators to interface with experts located elsewhere while virtual reality-based training assist them in their daily tasks.

Ultimately, the SIO Centre model will help Air Liquide reduce the costs associated with unreliability and obtain greater efficiency gains for Large Industries by 2020, which will contribute to the company’s competitiveness.

This is far from Air Liquide’s first foray into the Malaysian market, as just last year it also set up shared business services in Malaysia. The Financial Shared Services Centre manages financial transactions for Air Liquide entities in the Southeast Asia Pacific region, while the new Smart Innovative Operations Centre enables remote management of production in this region.