As a global building materials company, CEMEX has a presence in more than 50 countries throughout the world and yearly sales exceeding $15 billion. As one of the leading manufacturers of cement and ready-mix congregate and aggregates in the world, CEMEX's cement operations stretch across 70 sites in 21 countries. In his presentation, Mr. Rodrigo Quintero, Operations Model and Planning Manager described CEMEX's 20-year journey to achieve visibility across all 70 plants, adding context to data for reporting and analysis and finally integrating and analyzing operational data at scale to generate overall enterprise intelligence.
Quintero started his talk by describing his role in CEMEX's global technology department. "[The global technology group] is in charge of building new plants, [the] expansion of plants, driving the technology agenda for cement operations and governance for some cement operations. That means defining policies, procedures, systems and tools for the different plants." He continued by defining their efforts support three principal goals for operations - "to improve performance, reduce cost and provide reliable data to decision-makers." Over the course of the talk, Quintero described the three main cycles in their journey toward their current data practices.
Cycle 1: Standardizing information across a global organization
At first, "we had plants, every one of them with different equipment, with different practices. We set out on the journey to begin standardizing the [data] infrastructure, defining standards and standardizing the tag nomenclature. To give you an idea, a regular PI Server has 10,000-15,000 tags for each cement plant - multiply that by 70 sites. It is a lot of information that we manage." He continued, "after a couple of years, we were able to have the PI [System] infrastructure across all of our cement plants, so we achieved global visibility. After we finished the global implementation, we stayed there for more than 10 or 15 years."
Cycle 2: Creating operational context
During this period, CEMEX signed an enterprise agreement with OSIsoft. Quintero described next steps, "We had the challenge of giving context to the information. Because even though we had the standardized information restructured across all the cement plants, we didn't have the correct context for it. Now, we have [Asset Framework] AF. We began using AF three years ago with this new model. The result was we had a standard practice to report all of the information and how all the information was being analyzed not only for reporting but for process analysis and everything. That was a big improvement."
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