18 Dec 2019

Challenges, requirements and solutions

Oil and gas, petrochemical and chemical industries are looking for inexpensive, efficient and reliable tank storage solutions. Storage tank owners need a safe, flexible and future-proof way to store products like oil, gas, refined petrochemicals, chemical products and biofuels, while reducing operational costs, staying competitive and compliant with the regulations.

In this blog, we look at the tank storage sector and how industry 4.0 can help with the challenges the industry is facing. We discuss what are the elements required for successfully implementing Industry 4.0 and how Royal HaskoningDHV can help.

I4.0 challenges for tank storages

Socio-economic developments such as climate change, circular economy and energy transition require tank storages to become more business resilient; they need to develop new business models to utilise their assets better to create more value. For example, by investing in renewable energy sources, tank storages can reduce the carbon footprint of their operations; or by collaborating closely with ecosystem stakeholders, they can create a shared data platform that creates tremendous value for their supply chain. But how?

Requirements to be future-proof

Investment in renewable or/and energy and resource efficient utilities - with the help of third parties, digital supply chain engineering, digital asset management and engineering services, help build business resilience and more flexible operations. 
However, all of this requires data; it is an essential requirement for future- proofing.

1. Connected equipment

Domain knowledge of asset engineering and asset management is essential to define the criticality of a system so that parameters can be monitored using connected devices. Given the broad range of IIoT devices available, to ensure that field instrumentation from multiple vendors work together seamlessly, four requirements must be met: reliability, safety, accuracy and industry standard communication methods.

2. Connected supply chain

To create the most value out of data gathered, it is important to combine data for both horizontal value flow - from unloading to delivery - as well as the vertical value flow from measuring systems to electrical and communication systems, all the way to manufacturing execution and management systems. This helps achieve an optimally designed supply chain ensuring product is available when and wherever needed, using the most cost-efficient production, shipping and unloading methods.

3. Real-time monitoring and analytics

With connected equipment throughout the supply chain, live data is a reality. Analytical capability, including for example, schedule planning, route planning and product planning, is crucial to stay competitive and responsive through the whole ecosystem and provide predictive asset management possibilities.

4. System integration

As well as a connected supply chain and analytics, the right partners are needed for successful implementation.  All must have clearly identified roles and responsibilities for software integration of both business and operational applications.

How Royal HaskoningDHV can help

At Royal HaskoningDHV, we specialise in customised solutions to help you create a resilient, agile and future-proof business. We combine our extensive knowledge of physical assets with the latest digital technologies for digital twinning, process simulation, supply chain engineering, asset engineering and management.

Together with our partners, we provide a whole range of asset lifecycle services; from design and build to financing, maintaining and operating your utilities and other enabling assets allowing you to deploy capital and resources to your primary production assets. 

On the 29th of November 2019, we participated in the IoT café “Tank Storage” at  RDM NEXT, organised by iTanks and the port of Rotterdam. Along with other industry experts, we demonstrated advanced digital and IoT solutions for safety, inspection, efficiency and predictability of asset maintenance and operations in tank storages.

We offer a range of turnkey solutions for tank storages, such as predictive maintenance of dynamic mooring analysis, optimal design of tank terminals using parametric design approach, AI-enabled wastewater treatment virtual operator and digital twins for supply chain optimisation and process control for health, safety and environment.

With our solutions, we help port authorities, port operators and tank storages improve the lifecycle of utilities, deliver sustainable business value and to operate in a smarter, more efficient and sustainable way.

Interested in our solutions? Get in touch to find out how we can help you:

  • reduce your CAPEX and OPEX costs;
  • achieve your sustainability targets and business KPIs;
  • transition your business model using our unique DBFMO (Design, Build, Finance, Maintain, Operate) solution.

The key takeaways:

  1. Tank storages need to transition their business model to become more flexible and resilient.
  2. Data is key to creating value especially for ecosystem stakeholders.  
  3. Requirements for future-proofing are connected equipment, a connected supply chain, real-time monitoring and analytics and system integration.
  4. Royal HaskoningDHV has turnkey solutions and a unique DBFMO - (Design, Build, Finance, Maintain, Operate) solution to help tank storages achieve Industry 4.0.

Curious to learn how we can help you improve your production site?

Contact us

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Bart Vander Velpen
Global Business Director Industry 4.0

View author bio


Tong Wang
Industry 4.0 consultant for High Performing Production Sites

High performing production sites