Armagard Blog

Big Data Meets Big Oil: The Industrial Internet of Things Improving This Critical Industry

Posted by Daniel Waldron on Aug 2, 2016 4:00:00 PM

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog from our friends at Manufacturing Talk Radio. In this post they cover the impact of Big Data and the Industrial Internet of Things on the Oil Industry, while covering the importance of protecting computers used on oil rigs.


Big data and analytics have revolutionized how businesses make decisions and optimize processes. However, when it comes to oil producers a large portion of their expenses stem from preemptive well monitoring which involves sending technicians’ to remote sites to check wells for operational faults.

Even as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is beginning to make its mark on the oil industry, labor costs still dominate operating expenses. These companies are now looking for ways to lower labor costs while also improving their overall businesses through IIoT services and technology.

“If you just analyze the data, all you’ve done is push the problem around, – Now you have people staring at screens, looking at graphs, trying to understand the data. It just pushes up the labor costs.”

One of the ways the oil industry is trying to lower labor costs with the IIoT is taking advantage of the new remote systems this incredible system has to offer. Ambyint, a company based in Calgary, Canada is specifically trying to tackle labor costs in the oil and energy industry.

They are looking to remove the manual component of data analytics and turning current wells into smart, Big Data hubs.

The AmbyControl for EPM (Electric Prime Mover) is a new product that links any existing oil well that is operated by an electric motor to the Ambyint platform. Using a set of advanced algorithms, managers are able to see real-time data and analytics paired with operational recommendations to optimize wells.

Not only can they see the data, well managers are even given the ability to remotely control each well through the mobile or web app.

This system can dramatically lower operational and labor costs. Businesses could eliminate the need to send well managers out to remote regions and manually check the well’s status. This cuts down on travel and living expenses and frees up an incredible amount of time for the well manager.

Not only is the IIoT improving the actual operation of an oil well, it is also doing so much more. Big Data can also improve safety and security throughout the gas and oil industry.

Hadoop is one the systems that are taking a look at the safety aspect of the IIoT. This open-source software framework analyzes large data sets from a variety of sources to identify real-time threats before they become an issue.

So, not only can the IIoT reduce labor costs, it can also reduce the amount of accidents that occur on oil drilling sites and even in the manufacturing facilities where the oil industries components are manufactured.

This will lead to oil producers seeing a decline in the number of accidents reported which also makes up a large percentage of the oil industry’s expenses.

All of these systems do require one critical component, a computer. It is possible to buy a consumer level desktop and throw it in the thick of these harsh industrial settings but they won't last long.

Dust, dirt, bumps and bruises can dramatically shorten the lifespan of the computer and if it fails it could lead to lengthy downtime. Downtime isn't just an inconvenience it can be extremely costly, especially with any kind of oil operation.

mfg-radio-article-image1.jpgIndustrial computer enclosures play a key role in protecting computers in harsh environments.

However, there are ways to protect the industrial computer, a computer enclosure. These protective casings could greatly expand the lifetime of a computer located in an industrial setting. These shielded computers are much more reliable as they are completely protected from the outside world.

Oil producers have begun investing into Industrial Internet of Things technologies and services but many don’t see all it actually has to offer. Two major concerns for oil producers is the workforce’s safety and labor costs.

With the IIoT still being relatively new, much of the digital infrastructure, along with the actual hardware, wasn’t available. Now as the technology and the systems that work with the IIoT begin to mature, there are even more ways for oil producers to utilize the IIoT.

When looking specifically at these two areas, the IIoT offers oil producers an incredible way to cut costs while also maintaining current operations.

Sources: /

Topics: computer enclosures, manufacturing, the internet of things, industrial internet of things, industrial computers, oil industry, big data

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