Lily Chen, CEO, Diamond Key InternationalLily Chen, CEO
In the oil and gas sector, digitalization has now become the linchpin of survival. Today, every oil and gas company wants to implement a cost-efficient digital transformation strategy to stay competitive, increase market share, and bring in more workflow efficiency. And, with the current slowdown of the global economy due to COVID-19, this requisite of adapting digital technology to support everyday operations is only growing in relevance.

Owing to the pandemic and its ensuing effect in the collapse of oil demand, right now, oil and gas companies are looking for a more agile way to monitor, operate, and supply fossil fuel to their customers. However, when it comes to digitalizing the oil and gas supply chains, its execution is often easier said than done. And their unique requirements often lead oil companies toward Diamond Key International (DKI). Fortified by the right technology and rich experience, DKI is a go-to name in the energy sector that provides companies with real-time visibility of their operations and projections for their downstream distribution supply chains.

Lily Chen—the CEO of DKI—says: “Our customers often ask us how they can integrate all the data from existing legacy control systems, installed in the ’80s and ‘90s, to provide end-to-end transaction from gantry to ERP, improve the utilization of their assets and the experience of their customers”. The answer lies in the company’s rich 20 years of experience in oil and gas specialized process automation and distribution operations, during which, DKI has developed a nexus of digital transformation products and services around terminal automation systems (TAS) using AI, cloud, and IoT technologies.

Elaborating further, Chen highlights that the legacy oil and gas terminals often fail to collect the necessary data. Moreover, such a disjointed system inadvertently causes safety, efficiency, and security exposure for terminal operators. Oil and gas companies, therefore, need an efficient way to fully integrate and automate their terminal networks, as well as unify various terminal data from which insights can be drawn to make smart, real-time operational decisions. “We are turning those data at the oil and gas terminals into actionable insights that improve safety and efficiency, reduce operation costs, increase the return on assets and deliver an enhanced customer experience,” states Chen.

In one instance, the analysis conducted by DKI for one of the major oil and gas terminals identified a USD 1.25 million CAPEX saving. Preliminary results showed that queuing time would experience a drop of 25 percent if a large CAPEX project is swapped with a smaller, targeted modification in the existing terminal infrastructure. DKI’s solution, however, identified how to increase terminal efficiency by 35 percent while keeping its bay utilization at a relatively high rate of 45 percent. “Our solution improved customer experience by reducing driver waiting time by 40 percent and loading time by 20 percent on average,” informs Chen.

DKI crafts its solutions to “streamline, automate, and optimize” the day-to-day operations of an oil and gas supply chain. Leveraging DKI’s cloud platforms, such as Omega 5000 TAS, Omega Virtual Terminal (VT), and newly-developed Terminal Information Data Exchange (TIDE), the oil companies, distributors and their customers can connect any facility cost-effectively.
The standard Omega 5000 TAS eliminates siloed “information islands” by seamlessly integrating SCADA, PLC, ATG, ERP, third-party instrumentation and applications. Besides, the TIDE platform helps energy companies to collate data from multiple facilities across different locations, as well as restructure, merge, and analyze that information to support effective decisions. To this extent, DKI’s digital solutions with master data capability are built-in with intelligent ‘Monitor, Assess, Predict, And Maintain’ (MAPM) tools that allow users to achieve maximum supply chain optimization.

We are turning those data at the oil and gas terminals into actionable insights to improve safety, reduce operation costs, and enhance efficiency and customer experience

And today, these platforms are becoming even more relevant against the backdrop of the ongoing pandemic. DKI’s clients can use these platforms to prepare proven business continuity measures using digital solutions during the COVID-19 lockdown period, eliminating any significant impact on existing, mission-critical terminals. “To align DKI’s digital infrastructure with our clients’ IT and business processes, we are providing operational support, configuring field equipment, and deploying applications remotely to any location in the world,” says Chen.

DKI also manufactures a variety of pre-fabricated loading, unloading, blending, and additive skids at the engineering infrastructure level for truck, rail, barge, aviation, asphalt, and gas facilities with its state-of-the-art FlexLinc intelligent Bay Controller. On the other hand, the company has developed digital, wireless control valves, FlexNode, which gathers all critical data in operational facilities. Notably, what underpins the success of DKI is its proven operational benefits and cost saving for its clients. To this end, DKI follows a “whole of life” philosophy in serving customers. DKI offers online and offline support for its existing installations, ranging from on-site instrumentation to the process and application interfaces for third-party control and ERP communication solutions. DKI is also responsible for upgrading these installations as new technologies emerge or as the customers’ requirements evolve. Additionally, the company’s Customer Care Center (CCC) forms an essential foundation for providing round-the-clock operational support to terminal operators, suppliers, and customers. These tenets have also earned the company the moniker of a “trusted strategic partner” for digital transformation and a multitude of industry recognition in HSSE, Project Execution and Appreciation Award by major oil companies such as Shell, ExxonMobil, SINOPEC over the years.

Moving forward with such pivotal grace, DKI is poised to continue its R&D activities and incorporate new technologies to enhance its offerings. The targeted addition of machine learning and AI algorithms into its existing TIDE platform has already demonstrated DKI’s capability to deliver advanced business intelligence tools for the oil and gas industry. Being ‘operation-centric’ with a broad base of in-house experts, DKI is now laser-focused on providing end-to-end integrated solutions across the entire terminal supply chain.