SIEMENS opened its state-of-the-art Perth service centre in February with global head of customer service for Siemens’ industrial businesses, Dr Thomas Moser, saying this heralds a new era for hi-tech service.

Embracing hi-tech service to produce more at lower costs and avoid downtime is critical to the ongoing success of companies in the oil and gas sector, Dr Moser said.

“Industries such as mining and oil and gas that have made significant capital investments are now challenged with falling resource prices.”

“At the same time the world is entering a new industrial era enabled by digitalisation.”

“Now more than ever, it’s critical for companies to embrace hi-tech service to produce more at lower costs and avoid downtime that can cause losses and negatively impact company share prices. That’s why Siemens is pleased to be making this $20 million investment in WA,” said Dr Moser.

Siemens’ new Perth centre features end-to-end service capabilities that include the ability to service motors, generators and variable speed drives in strict accordance with original equipment manufacturer standards.

A $5 million specialised test-bed for electric motors with a load test facility is key feature which Siemens said means that any of the motors being overhauled can be fully simulated to run as in installed conditions.

“This is the most sophisticated test bed of its kind in Australia and can test the widest breadth of motors under load for its size,” the company said.

Another feature is a remote service hub that serves as a location for experts to monitor equipment and key plants anywhere in Australia.

The service hub has the ability to remotely connect to equipment and perform trouble shooting and reactive services, as well as support condition based maintenance strategies.

Siemens’ facility has a 20 tonne balancing machine that ensures shafts and rotors can be precision balanced before returning to the field which results in less wear and tear and more efficient operations.

Access to factory technical data, parts and procedures ensuring repairs are carried out to specification and tolerances is another feature of the facility.

Siemens said the facility provided appropriate storage and preservation of customer equipment so that it was in good condition for when it is needed.

Access to global technical support and comprehensive training services can also be accessed at the Perth facility, according to the company.

“Through modern technology and services, companies can achieve operational efficiencies, extend the life of their assets, optimise performance, reduce energy consumption and protect investments,” Dr Moser said.

“Remote monitoring, predictive maintenance, simulation and cloud based asset management are just some of the new technologies and practises that operators can utilise.”

The Perth service centre is the third new Siemens service centre in Australia in less than two years – after Tonsley (South Australia) and Rockhampton (Queensland).

Cutting-edge technology and equipment, along with specialist engineering support will ensure key Western Australian industries increase productivity and operational efficiencies and significantly minimise downtimes, the company said.

“Operational phases represent about 95% per cent of the lifecycle costs – compared to just 5% or less in the capital investment phase, so hi-tech service becomes critical to drive increased overall equipment effectiveness while reducing these operational costs.”

“For example, in Turkey’s state-run Tüpras refinery, Siemens succeeded in reducing the downtime of 1,500 motors by a staggering 83%,” Dr Moser said.

The WA Department of Mines and Petroleum notes the value of resource projects under construction or in the committed stage is estimated at $171 billion and a further $110 billion is planned for the coming years.

Siemens Australia chief executive Jeff Connolly said the timing of the opening supports critical projects as they transition into operations, such as Chevron’s Gorgon where first LNG production is expected within the next few weeks.

“As the main motors and drives contractor for important infrastructure projects including some of WA’s biggest LNG projects, we take a long term view to the market and understand the importance of being there to support our customers over the operational life of the project as well,” Mr Connolly said.

Using technology to improve services and become more competitive is fundamental to the success of companies working in the oil and gas sector, according to Mr Connolly.

“Rapid developments in digitalisation mean that the future of service equates to the future of competition. Almost every modern piece of equipment now has the ability to capture data – it’s what you do with that data that matters.”