Looking ahead, Stoffel says he is exploring new ways to increase the utility of the PI System to the business side of the company. He's started with a small project to merge information from the plant's SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system (such as daily production numbers and yields) with PI information (specifically, data on energy use) to generate daily reports on how much energy it takes to generate a pound of a certain product. Plant managers can monitor those reports and use the information to find ways to improve the plant's efficiencies, with the potential for much greater returns for ATOFINA. The plant also has long-range plans to take advantage of OSIsoft's certified interfaces to SAP and to use PI to supply greater information to the company's supply chain.
Of course, beyond the hard and soft savings that the Calvert City plant has achieved using the OSIsoft products, the PI System has had one additional benefit that, for Stoffel at least, may be priceless. "This is the one piece of software," the veteran engineer says, "that I don't hear people complain about."