Kazanorgsintez IT Management: ''Having clicked the mouse, the director general can see the state of the production process''

The enterprise told about a new digitalisation stage

Kazanorgsintez IT Management: ''Having clicked the mouse, the director general can see the state of the production process''
Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

Trends for industrial digitalisation and automation cover more enterprises every year. The Kazan chemical giant – Kazanorgsintez – became one of the most actively developing enterprises in this area. Nowadays over 90% of the production processes of the enterprise are already automatic. A huge job is done in the business process automation system. So an optimisation project of warehouse facilities plans to enter the next stage, an electronic rationalisation system will be approved in 2019. Sergey Nefedyev, director Information Technologies Management at Kazanorgsintez PJSC, told about the development of digitalisation in the petrochemical enterprise in detail.

''If pressure in the pipe goes up, the system itself cuts the pipeline off''

Mr Nefedyev, to what a degree have production processes at Kazanorgsintez PJSC been automatised now?

When talking about an industrial enterprise, a factory, many people imagine workers standing near machine tools in dirty uniforms. But if you go to any plant of Kazanorgsintez PJSC, first of all, you will see the operator's rooms where several people sit in front of big monitors. 90% of our processes are automatic. Those technological operations that a system can't be entrusted are performed manually.

We send information about a production process that an operator sees on the monitor to any director's workplace through an automatic system. Having clicked the mouse several times, the director general can also see the real state of the production process: the capacity, benzene's temperature in the reservoir, etc. This leads to higher responsibility on the spot because people know a director can see the work in real time mode.

The reaction rate increases in case of emergency thanks to automation. For instance, if pressure in the pipe goes up, the system itself cuts the pipeline off.

The reaction rate increases in case of emergency thanks to automation

Who's responsible for automation and digitalisation in the enterprise?

At Kazanorgsintez, several services at once are responsible for informatisation and the performance of automatic systems. Firstly, it's services in factories. Their main task is to provide automation of industrial production, control the operation of systems. Every factory has ATPMC – the automatic technological process management system. These systems manage a technological process automatically gathering information from sensors installed on the spot. Information goes to the programming and computing suite located in the operator's room's buildings. It gathers all information about the process in several workplaces, and the operator sitting at the table sees the whole process in front of him.

Here, the staff includes both engineers (those who organise the process, supervise the performance of systems) and workers – instrumentation technicians. They directly work with devices on pipelines, reservoirs in harmful conditions. The total number of these services is over 700 people.

The second block is information technologies management.

What does the service of information technologies do?

The IT Management deals with еру automation of business processes at the level of enterprise management. It consists of 90 people. The IT Management is responsible for the implementation, accompaniment, development of information systems in modern programme and computing suites, including training, help.

The IT Management deals with the automation of business processes at the level of enterprise management

Electronic coverage of all business processes

What smart technologies are used at Kazanorgsintez? As far as I'm concerned, a SAPR/3 system was implemented in the enterprise several years ago. What's the advantage of applying this system to the enterprise?

The issue of implementing the SAP was raised at Kazanorgsintez in 1998, the first modules were launched in 2000. The system's advantage is that it's transparent for management analysis, which is done by integrating all processes. Everything is interlinked in the system. For instance, HR processes. As soon as a person starts working, the system already has his staff timetable, salaries are calculated. The system includes all possible types of additional payments that an employee can receive, the leave and so on.

The same goes for the work with inventory items. Their whole life cycle can be seen from their acquisition.

The main advantage of the SAP is a coverage of all types of business processes that exist in the enterprise: sale, finance and economy, accounting. The system expands, increases, grows, it is replenished. The SAP system has only one drawback – a high price for the licence, this is why not all enterprise can switch to it. Big companies can afford SAP.

Document automation is used in the enterprise. How much is it used?

Document automation has been used in the enterprise since 2006. The system counts and registers documents. Almost the whole life cycle of document flow, including approval of memos, directives, orders, protocols from meetings completely goes through document automation. After implementing the system, it's felt how much time is saved when looking for a document and approving it, the information processing speed also increased when transmitting documents between subdivisions. Effective organisational solutions for joint work were applied, execution improved.

A huge volume of memos and other internal documents are electronic. Unfortunately, now we're at the stage when the paper is anyway needed to write a memo and many other documents. We haven't switched to complete document automation yet.

How is the intranet used at Kazanorgsintez?

For us, the intranet is an internal protected network of an enterprise that apart from data transmission networks includes information systems installed on servers. The main purpose of the intranet is to exchange information inside a corporation. This can be access to work documentation, which is in a system of files, a quick exchange of information via e-mail. We also actively chat via e-mail.

Internal information is also stored on the corporate portal. It can include trade union's news, bus routes. A big number of documents are stored on the internal site, a necessary document can always be found there.

''A part of functions can be robotised when inventory items are given''

What plans do you have for information technology management in 2019? What new products are you introducing?

A project aimed to increase the effectiveness of the warehouse process management in material and technical supply warehouses will be fulfilled in the short run. The project consists of many stages, it's been implemented for a year already. Its purpose is to increase the capacity of storage and effectiveness of performance of warehouses by building an optimal storage process. Capacities of storage were calculated, warehouses' sizes were measured, projects of business processes with inventory items were created at the first stage.

At the second stage, it will be necessary to modernise a new warehouse and automatise warehouses in it. It's planned that inventory items in warehouses will be marked, they will have barcodes. In the future, the barcodes will be used to receive and give inventory items online in every lot of delivery, and the IT will choose places to store inventory items. The third stage is expected to begin in 2019.

How will the warehouse look after modernisation?

Digitalisation will allow to simplify the work in the warehouse. The system itself will find a good with barcodes, even a part of functions can be robotised when inventory items are given. To fulfil the project, we signed an agreement with a contractor, which made up a scheme for the optimal storage of inventory items. From a perspective of software, the warehouse will be created on the basis of the existing SAP programme. For this purpose, only a licence for the additional module SAP EWM will need to be obtained.

Digitalisation will allow to simplify the work in the warehouse

Document automation with contractors

How does Kazanorgsintez develop document automation?

It's planned to fulfil a project of legally valid document automation in 2019. It will include interaction with the enterprise's counteragents in documents with e-signatures. It's a new, advanced sphere for our country. We depend on the readiness of our counteragents to participate in the project of legally valid document automation.

We pin big hopes on colleagues from Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC. They've already switched to legally valid document automation. As we're connected with them economically, we consider NKNK as one of the counteragents we will be able to test processes of legally valid document automation with when implementing the project.

New IT support

A transition to a platform of the IT management system based on Terrasoft Bpm'online is also among new tasks for 2019. This system is included to the unified roster of Russian software. The project has been sent to optimise and improve IT processes. Main goals are to increase management, measurability of activity of information technologies management.

A transition to a platform of IT management system based on Terrasoft Bpm'online is also among new tasks for 2019

Could you tell about this project in detail?

If e-mail, office equipment doesn't function in the system of the enterprise's employees, they submit an application for repair through HelpDesk service. In this system of submission of applications, we don't see the quality of service that was provided and the time it took. The Terrasoft platform will increase the measurability of the management's activity.

What are other advantages of Terrasoft platform compared to HelpDesk?

It operates in accordance with new international automation standards. We plan to place help with a video connection, computers, video cameras, telephones on one platform. When users start creating an application that their equipment fails, the system will advise itself where the mistake can be. The system will analyse it and help technical support specialists to provide the service faster and better. A director will see the time the staff spent on an application, the service, he can get feedback from the user. The support service works in the factory round the clock.

What digitalisation projects will be fulfilled in the enterprise in 2019?

A project of the SAP-based automatic technical support and equipment repair system is actively fulfilled. The idea is to introduce all equipment into the SAP system. Technical maintenance and equipment repair events are created on the basis of the inserted data. Firstly, we chose five plants. All subdivisions are to switch to this system in a year.

What advantages will Kazanorgsintez enjoy from using this programme?

The accuracy of equipment maintenance and repair event planning will increase in the enterprise, there will be information about the occupation of the repair staff. We can submit an application that we need inventory items beforehand, make a purchase on time, hire a contractor for some services.

It's planned the project will allow our enterprise to increase stock balance turnover. Of course, it's an indirect task, the main task is to plan accurate equipment maintenance and repair, reduce repair costs. We hope the expenses will reduce by 10%.

KOS introduces electronic rationalisation system

An electronic rationalisation system has recently appeared at Kazanorgsintez. What is it?

Indeed, this system has been implemented recently, now it's tested. According to the plan, the trial will begin this November. The task is to automatise rationalisation processes, that's to say, submission and processing applications for rationalisation proposals, preparation of documentation after test examination of the implementation of the rationalisation proposal, making a decision on transformation of rationalisation proposals into know-how or a patented item.

The system will automatically calculate the effect and reward for rationalisation proposals. It's expected rationalisation in the enterprise will become active, the economic effect from the implementation of rationalisation proposals will grow.

The task is to automatise rationalisation processes, that's to say, submission and consideration of applications for rationalisation proposals

All rationalisation proposals will be added to the system, ideas won't repeat. There will be a base, centralised document storage. It's important there aren't conflicts between authors and co-authors. All actions will be transparent. We understand an algorithm is needed for automation. The administration of the enterprise will be able to obtain information about the state of affairs in innovation in different structures, see real activity. We should understand this activity depends on a person. It's necessary to be inclined to innovation, know how to present an idea, put it into operation. Such people have always stood out in the crowd in the enterprise.

Fight against phishing and resistance on spot

Not hacking attacks but so-called phishing – the appearance of a website's clone on the Internet – impedes KOS from working

How often has the external website of Kazanorgsintez ever suffered from a cyberattack?

The enterprise's information security department constantly scans the site for weak links, the absence of substitution of information. Not cyberattacks but so-called phishing – the appearance of a website's clone on the Internet – impedes us from working. Constant monitoring saves from such intruders.

What's the website's traffic statistics?

About 3,000 people enter the website every day. Most visits are made by residents of Russia, CIS countries are second, then it's Europe, Asia, the USA. Traffic grows by 15-20% every year.

What difficulties arise in practice when automatising business processes?

I think the greatest difficulty in digitalisation in a factory is that employees also have to change. The main problem is in people's resistance, their readiness to change. We've faced it several times.

By Ekaterina Gumarova. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov