The leadership culture of the UAE has continuously supported boldness, entrepreneurship and risk-taking.


Reshaping industrial process plant management

December 13, 2023

Huseyn Tarek, regional president of INTECH Process Automation, talks to The Energy Year about digitalisation in industrial plant management, how automation systems leverage data to create value and how the company’s value proposition has evolved. INTECH Process Automation provides industrial digital solutions.

How is the Industry 4.0 digital revolution impacting industrial process plant management?
Industry 4.0 is a fusion of technologies that blurs the lines between the physical and digital worlds and has a profound impact on industrial process plant management, bringing about significant transformations and opportunities by integrating physical and digital systems, enabling seamless connectivity across the entire value chain.
Industrial process plants are increasingly equipped with sensors, actuators and intelligent devices that can communicate and share data in real time. This connectivity enables the gathering of comprehensive insights into operations in order to optimise processes and make informed decisions. It leverages advanced data analytics techniques to extract valuable insights from vast amounts of data generated by industrial processes.
Machine learning, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics enable plant managers to analyse historical and real-time data to identify patterns, trends and anomalies. These insights facilitate predictive maintenance, process optimisation and proactive decision-making.

How are these automation systems leveraging data to create value for your clients?
The first aspect of our services is our competence in working with various automation systems of leading companies, such as Honeywell, Schneider Electric, Siemens and Rockwell Automation, along with our ability to successfully integrate these systems into an overarching platform where all the data can be processed.
This approach is reshaping industrial process plant management by fostering connectivity, data-driven decision-making, automation and enhanced efficiency. By embracing the opportunities presented by these insights, plant managers can unlock new levels of productivity, agility and competitiveness in the evolving industrial landscape.
The evolution of digital twin technology coupled with cloud and edge computing creates virtual replicas of physical assets, processes and systems. Industrial process plants can develop digital twins that mirror their operations, enabling simulation, optimisation and predictive analysis, which provides plant managers with a virtual testing ground to evaluate different scenarios, optimise performance and identify potential issues before implementing changes in the physical environment.
Meanwhile, cloud platforms provide scalability, flexibility and accessibility, enabling plant managers to store and access data from anywhere, collaborate with remote teams and deploy advanced analytics algorithms. Edge computing brings computing resources closer to the data source, reducing latency and enabling real-time decision-making.
Furthermore, by promoting the use of autonomous and intelligent systems in industrial process plants such as robots, drones and autonomous vehicles, which can perform tasks with precision, speed and efficiency, we enable these systems to collaborate with humans to make informed decisions and adapt to dynamic conditions. These technologies are making significant strides to streamline operations, reduce emissions, enhance productivity and efficiency and improve safety.
As industrial process plants become more and more connected and data-driven, ensuring robust cybersecurity and data privacy is crucial. INTECH implements comprehensive IT and OT cybersecurity measures to protect our customers against cyber-threats, unauthorised access and data breaches to maintain the integrity, confidentiality and availability of critical plant data and operations.

What makes the UAE an interesting market for both traditional and innovative businesses?
The UAE is an appealing market for both traditional and innovative businesses due to its strategic location, strong economic stability, business-friendly environment, supportive government policies, advanced infrastructure, multicultural society and entrepreneurial culture.
Its position as a global trade hub, coupled with tax incentives, streamlined regulations and world-class facilities, attracts companies seeking to expand their reach. The government’s focus on economic diversification, support for startups and investment in technology further enhance the opportunities for businesses. With a multicultural consumer base and a stable economy, the UAE offers a conducive environment for companies looking to establish a strong presence in the region and tap into diverse international markets.
The UAE has emerged at the forefront of technology innovation and adoption in the Eastern Hemisphere in the past decade. The leadership culture of the country has continuously supported boldness, entrepreneurship and risk-taking. The latest concepts in technology – such as blockchain and smart contracts, digitalisation and, more broadly, what is understood as the Fourth Industrial Revolution – are being integrated into existing business and operational processes.
Companies such as ADNOC, ADIA, Mubadala, TAQA, ADWEA, DEWA, SEWA and Tabreed are now supporting their traditional activities with new digital, automation and information tools.
That is the second aspect of INTECH’s offering. We are not only able to provide our services on new greenfield projects, we also help mature asset holders integrate our systems and revamp their brownfields to maximise the production of their existing facilities and reduce capital expenditures and total cost of ownership.


What is INTECH’s footprint in the region and the scope of your operations?
Although INTECH is headquartered out of Houston, we have put enormous efforts into localisation and local value creation through our regional HQ in the UAE and full-blown operations in the KSA, Iraq and Oman, integration facilities in Jebel Ali and the KSA, and a back office in Pakistan. We have recently opened up a new entity in KEZAD [Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi] to better align with the objectives of ADNOC. We are now a team of 500-plus employees, mostly engineers, in the region who are supporting its regional customers.
Last-mile coverage, consultancy-based solutions, a multi-vendor approach, efficient project management, multi-disciplinary service contracts, nationalisation and best-in-class customer experience have remained a cornerstone for our offerings. INTECH leverages its Jebel Ali facility to integrate and export systems across the region including Africa, Middle East and CIS.
As mentioned, with companies such as ADNOC looking towards new technologies that will help unlock bottlenecks, we have been involved in a variety of projects in the region. Recently, for example, we implemented cybersecurity systems in 16 of the plants operated by ADNOC.
In the region, PDO in Oman has been a customer with whom our relationship has evolved for over 15 years from automation service supplier to their partner of choice for digitisation and cybersecurity. Similarly, INTECH holds several long-term contracts with companies such as Shell, BP, KOC, Aramco, SABIC and the like.

How has the company’s value proposition grown over the years?
INTECH has been in the market for almost 30 years now, and we have been operating in the region since 2007, with operations in UAE, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Angola, Kazakhstan and Pakistan. We established a presence in the UAE in 2013, with facilities in Jebel Ali. We have evolved from providing services to the upstream and midstream oil and gas sectors to broadening our scope to the energy industry.
Our solution offering now includes cybersecurity solutions, IT/OT integration, industrial digitisation solutions and operations applications, industrial automation and SCADA solutions and integration, electrical e-houses and electrical consultancy, automated oil and gas specialised skids and hydraulic wellhead control systems, and a broad range of operations and maintenance services.
At the core of our activities lies our commitment to uncovering the challenges our customers face and providing them with tailored solutions through the implementation of automation systems by a team of strong project management personnel, highly tailored systems and processes. Throughout the years we have developed into consultants for our clients, and we work with them to best leverage different automation technologies installed on their assets into integrated systems and help them monetise their data by providing useful insights and decision support tools.

How do you align your strategy with the ambitions that GCC countries have laid out?
It is evident to us that, in light of the progression we have undergone and the potential that exists in the region, we will work to further expand. To that end, our Jebel Ali facility will continue supporting the CIS and African regions, the facility in KEZAD will support our activities here in the UAE and the Middle East, and we have recently opened up an integration facility in the KSA.
INTECH has recently taken a major step by integrating and exporting automation systems for one of our major North American customers for their sustainability project through our UAE facility. This includes a process automation DCS system for direct air capture (carbon capture) and a hydrogen plant automation system. We believe this is our first step towards unleashing a wealth of opportunities for us as a company and to the region as a whole. This newly acquired expertise will of course be helpful for the customers who are actively working on sustainability initiatives.

How is INTECH’s strategy shifting in light of emerging market dynamics?
I would describe our current strategy as shifting from being an automation integration company into becoming an intelligence company across industrial plant assets. Working with our clients throughout recent years, we have evolved from simple automation implementation projects to complete data integration of IT and OT systems, cybersecurity, data contextualisation, custom industrial applications and industrial digital transformation across plant assets including electrical, automation and skids solutions.
At INTECH we see ourselves as the enabler of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With greater technological capabilities and new avenues through which we can create an impact and are providing additional value, the automation solutions are becoming an enabler of the wide services we offer. Automation is core to our offering, but the layers of applications we are implementing on top of these technologies will transform the industry and provide our clients with customised data and plant intelligence.
We are helping our regional and global clients become more sustainable by helping them integrate and monitor thousands of assets to make informed business decisions and achieve an array of KPIs. Our goal is to help our customers to enhance safe and continuous plant operations, reduce their operations and ownership costs, increase their productivity, reduce waste and emissions, and become more energy efficient.

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