Industry 4.0 is here: Louisiana’s manufacturers are embracing smart facilities, digitization and the Internet of Things

What just years ago seemed like a far-out concept now plays a central role in Louisiana’s manufacturing space. The gathering, manipulation and extrapolation of data via smart facilities, digitization and the Internet of Things (IoT)—aka Industry 4.0—is rapidly gaining a foothold among petrochemical owners.

Some plants are taking a leadership role. Last summer, Cornerstone Chemical in Waggaman kickstarted its efforts by appointing process technology engineer Aubyn Chavez as its first digitization leader. It stemmed from a desire to turn Cornerstone’s Industry 4.0 goals into a sustainable reality.

“Like the old adage, if everybody’s responsible, then nobody’s responsible,” says Tom Yura, chief operating officer. “It became clear that we needed someone with a passion for digitization and a willingness to learn, read and ask questions.”

After assuming the new role, Chavez immediately began taking online classes to understand machine algorithms. She admits to becoming a little obsessed with “PI Asset Framework,” a repository that integrates, contextualizes, refines, references and analyzes data from multiple sources. She even attended the “PI World” conference and talked to people who use the program to collect process data.

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October 13-15, 2020

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