Race to the Moon, Industry 4.0-Style

March 9, 2021

North American oil and gas well completion giant FTS International (NYSE American: FTSI) recently announced the successful launch of fully automated equipment health monitoring and control using KCF Technologies’ MachineIQ™ (MIQ) on an active hydraulic fracturing site. KCF Chief Technology Officer Jacob Loverich said, “This very well may be the first installed Industry 4.0 revolution solution.”

“Today marks one of KCF’s most significant customer achievements, a five-year, multi-million dollar 'race to the moon' that brings a new level of automation to the industrial world,” said KCF Technologies Chief Business Officer Ben Lawrence. 

FTSI worked with KCF for five years to create an industry-first pump automation tech solution that incorporated more than 300 terabytes of data (an amount of data equivalent to 150,000 hours of HD video) and 12,000 field-confirmed fault notifications, resulting in a computer algorithm that will better eliminate safety threats, unplanned downtime and unnecessary repair costs. The solution is called MachineIQ™ (MIQ).

On a broader scale, MachineIQ™ recognizes mechanical faults and high-damage blind spots within the hydraulic fracturing industry and automatically adjusts job parameters in a matter of milliseconds — a process that normally would take an employee hours or days, increasing the safety and financial risk the longer the process took.

Lawrence described it like this: “Picture your factory’s most experienced, accomplished machine operator. Consider the hundreds of factors that he/she processes in real time to make decisions, and then imagine a machine health/process data automation program mirroring that all-star’s best practices and further improving them.” 

“When an equipment operator identifies a problem with a pump, they need to adjust rate. This is time consuming because they must assess which of the remaining pumps are healthy and available before acting. MIQ is constantly monitoring equipment health and assessing hundreds of parameters; it already knows which pumps to use and automatically optimizes operations across available units. MIQ turns a 90-second reaction into a nearly instantaneous action,” Buddy Petersen, COO at FTSI, further explained in a recent statement.

Watch the 20 second video on the success below!

Launch of fully automated equipment health monitoring and control

Operators at “mission control” at a FTSI and Devon Energy site in Oklahoma launched the technology to great results. During the first run, MachineIQ™ was able to identify equipment issues and their sources, then correct those issues for greater machine health. MachineIQ™ ran for more than 44 hours at that time, successfully preventing numerous failures and eliminating all downtime or loss of rate that would normally have occurred during that timeframe.

Jeremy Frank, KCF Technologies’ co-founder and CEO, noted, “For over 20 years, our company has been delivering industrial optimization services to organizations as varied as the U.S. Military and Fortune 500 manufacturers, and FTSI’s automation technology, grounded in real-time machine health, is arguably the most advanced out there.”

Learn more about KCF Technologies at www.kcftech.com.

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