Speaking at gasworld’s Virtual Europe Industrial Gas Summit 2021 today (27th April), global management consulting firm McKinsey, said it sees a lot of value in advanced digital technologies for industrial gas companies.

Taking part in an exclusive panel discussion with gasworld’s Global Managing Editor, Rob Cockerill, Guttorm Aase and Dennis Kim of McKinsey spoke all about digitalisation and how it can enhance business.

“Digital is a is a really hot topic that we’re really seeing with clients and the industrial gases industry this is really no exception here. As we’re looking across our clients, we see folks looking to leverage digital to really drive both performance improvements and growth in a big way,” they explained. 

“Digital technologies really allow you to look across trends that you’ve never been able to spot before, as you think about assets working in tandem, optimisation across the value chain and really making possible optimizations that humans couldn’t do.”

“We’ve also seen that in the work that we’ve been doing with other organistions like the World Economic Forum, we can see how that capability of digital can really be a huge unlock potential for companies - and we think there’s a lot of potential and industrial gas space that that isn’t just the burgeoning stages of this development industry.” 

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Engaging in the discussion and debate, Cockerill asked Aase and Kim what their experience with the application of digital in industrial gases has been.

“I think industrial gases have a lot of potential in the space, and in some ways we’re just at the beginning of that development and we’re just starting to scratch the surface,” they responded. “The industry has been a leader in some applications, for example, if you think about the large-scale pipeline assets that industrial gas companies run, monitoring of those remote monitoring of onsite installations - it’s an area that the industry has experience with.”

“However, we think there’s also a lot that the industry is not doing, and that’s why we wrote a recent article, to really try to lay out a bit the broader lens of where the industry could go and how we could build on its expertise. We think there’s a lot of potential for the industry.”

“If you think about digital and industrial gases, it applies in many spots in the value chain. Imagine a big pipeline operation that’s large, complicated, has multiple air separation units, booster stations, customers with different demand profiles etc. - there’s an opportunity to use advanced analytics and better forecasting, as well as digital tools to optimise the pipelines so serve all your customers at the lowest possible cost.”

“Other examples could be optimising liquid in bulk distribution. So, as you drive a truck down the road, there’s a potential to use advanced analytics and dashboard in real time updates to find the best route to get from point A to point B, and navigating taking traffic conditions, weather conditions into consideration.”

Throughout the rest of the discussion, Cockerill and McKinsey delved into exactly how well such technologies can advance the industrial gas industry and the road they could take to get there. Concluding the session, McKinsey described such technology as an interesting opportunity for the industry.

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gasworld’s Europe Industrial Gas Summit 2021 continues throughout the rest of the day and we will be bringing you, our readers, snippets of some of those sessions. Be sure to catch all the content at gasworld.com, and watch live to make sure you don’t miss out.