Predictive analytics help PPG customers prevent corrosion

The supplier of paints, coatings, and specialty materials has created a new analytics service to help its customers maximize the uptime and life expectancy of their industrial assets.

Predictive analytics help PPG customers prevent corrosion
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Rundown and corroded industrial assets can have a detrimental effect on the bottom line. But for most companies that rely on smooth flowing pipes and watertight tanks, such as in the oil and gas, rail, and mining sectors, knowing when industrial assets will become a liability is a challenge.

Fortune 500 company PPG Industries, founded in 1883 as the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co., is turning to data collection and analytics to help its customers in a range of industries predict exactly when they'll need to apply new coatings to prevent corrosion. The supplier of paints, coatings, and specialty materials has developed Asset Integrity Management (AIM), a digitally-enabled service that forecasts the future condition of PPG's protective coatings and notifies customers as to which assets they need to repaint and when — before corrosion occurs.

"Through AIM we help customers plan, budget, and optimize their facility maintenance needs for coatings application," says Jeff Lipniskis, global director of IT at PPG.

At the heart of the service, which earned PPG a FutureEdge 50 Award for cutting-edge use of emerging technologies, is a data-driven model built on proprietary algorithms developed from NACE 509 and ISO 12944 standards for expected service life. The model helps customers predict how their assets will age, calculate likely outcomes, and compare multiple scenarios. It includes a budget manager that gives maintenance managers the ability to plan for the next 10 to 20 years of maintenance.

To support the service, PPG coatings inspectors travel to customer facilities to inspect the paint and coatings on assets such as tanks and pipes. They take photographs and document data about the assets based on standard engineering protocols. "Once the data is collected it's uploaded to the cloud and then the analytics occur on that data," Lipniskis says, adding that the cloud-based solution then enables customers "to review and complete 'what-if' analysis and other activities as part of their maintenance planning process."

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