The recent analysis from Frost & Sullivan; ‘Global Pumps Market in the Oil and Gas Industry, Forecast to 2024’ finds that there has been a concentrated focus on operational expenditure (OPEX) in the oil and gas industry following the oil price plunge in 2016. Upstream companies are increasingly acknowledging digitisation as an important enabler of cost savings and profitability, and are therefore gravitating toward tools such as smart pumps.
Among the many new-generation pumps in the market, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-enabled and energy-efficient pumps with demonstrable return on investment (RoI) are expected to experience the highest demand.
"IIoT-enabled pumps and solutions that can turn Big Data into predictive information are disrupting the digitisation strategies of oil and gas companies in developed countries such as North America,” said Anand M Gnanamoorthy, Industrial Automation & Process Control Industry Manager at Frost & Sullivan. "However, to harness the full potential of the digital transformation in the industry, pump companies need to offer new IIoT-focused business models such as gain sharing, pay-per-use, and Product-as-a-Service. They need to follow this up with fresh marketing strategies that use case studies and white papers to increase the consumer awareness regarding such solutions."
While there is great enthusiasm among pump manufacturers to embrace IIoT in their products, they need to cherry-pick the technologies to reap the benefits. There is a glut of technologies in the market, as barriers to entry are low in IIoT. This has allowed technology startups such as Ayata and Spark Cognition, and automation solution providers such as Emerson and Honeywell, to challenge industry leaders like Flowserve, Sulzer, and ITT.
Meanwhile, pump manufacturers across the board will enjoy significant growth opportunities created by:
"Although pump manufacturers are aware of the relevance of IIoT and predictive analysis to their business, many still prefer to adopt the wait-and-watch approach," noted Gnanamoorthy. "This is not the best strategy for this market because the first movers will have a huge advantage due to platformisation, and the late adopters will be left fighting for an ever-shrinking share of the pie. It is vital to establish an analytics strategy in the next three years, as the typically long product development and launch cycles could make technology-shy companies quickly redundant."