Speaker Interview: Game of Drones with Csaba Feher, Mol

Talking survival of the adaptable, people lead Change management and Game of Drones with Csaba Feher

We recently caught up with returning Oil and Gas IoT Summit speaker, Head of Maintenance at Mol, Csaba Feher – to ask him about what he’s been up to recently, his priorities for 2020 and, what we can expect from his session…

Firstly, for those who weren’t at the event in January, can you tell us a little about you and your current role and responsibilities?

I am the head of maintenance and technology of Logistics in MOL plc generally with more than 25 years experience in the maintenance  area. As a maintenance manager, my main responsibility has been kept in the name of ‘ maximize the mechanical availability on the sites on an optimal cost level.’ One of my previous bosses said: ‘In the maintenance, No need heroes BUT Attentive hosts…’ Briefly, This is my ‘never-ending’ story since the beginning, the main challenge is to find them on more and more efficient and effective way. So, I have become Coach and organization developer too.

We know how the people and the team are the real fundamentals on every journey also in the oil and gas business… I can drive fast and clear changes if I am the first one to do. That is why these ‘softer’ but new skills on my side.

As for the journey, I am a distance runner in my free time, last but not least!

We met you at the beginning of the year at the first Oil and Gas IoT Summit – can you tell us a bit about what you’ve been doing with Mol since then?

Darwin’ s evergreen quote is still valid in MOL Group generally and also on my local maintenance/asset management area.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change…”

So we have researched and started many programs/projects in the System – people -process room to operate in a more efficient and effective way.

For instance, the promoted ‘game of Drones’ program, New Maintenance end-to-end process supported by a renewed CMMS system or some well built Culture Change elements in my organizations like OGSM based performance management and the 4DX focused dashboard monitoring management are still under our construction.

Yes, all in all, we have been increasing the tempo since the last IoT summit. Naturally, more details to be shared in my impressive program soon is Lisbon.

You’ll be presenting a case study: Games of Drones – A case study of Drone concept implementation in MOL – can you give us a sneak peek of what you’ll be talking about?

If we catch up generally the drones and it’s applications there is no shortage of opportunities in our oil and gas business. Shortly, this technology hugely reduces the human resource cost in addition to providing valuable data and alerts, which can lead to indirect cost-savings with improved efficiency and risk-aversion, increased preventive ratio. It can also efficiently detect for example oil spills and alert maintenance staff to fix the issue

Near the general introduction Our pilot program as a case study to be displayed by me in focus with the maintenance based drone applications with its benefits, risks, next steps.

Actually, on our sites, the Routine tank inspections are the most common drone uses. Drones can fly over the tanks to check for integrity issues and corrosion, as well as to detect different liquids/gases that might be present, ensuring it’s safe for workers to clean or complete necessary repairs.

What are the 3 things attendees can expect to take away from your session?

We have handled this project as a start-up, so Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast! That is our basic message!

This kind of experimentation is quintessential when trying out some new feature/application from the exponentially growing IoT World. I learned that the big players like Shell, ExxonMobil and BP are deploying the technology, and smaller companies and service providers are starting to follow suit. But in this heavily-regulated, risk-averse industry, drone adoption is moving at a slow pace relative to its potential.

‘Data is the new oil..’, I heard this slogan in Singapore on the last Asia Downstream. No Question, Machine learning, and AI will contribute to more advanced Systems, which will also become more integrated, offer more real-time capabilities and provide better-organized data. Drones will also complete volumetric analysis and digital terrain / 3D modeling, and may even be able to deliver supplies to teams in remote locations someday.

I have no doubt, As the related regulations become more defined and the cost savings become clear, drone use will increase in the oil and gas industry. This is the general outcome of our study.

What effect have Drones made on the Oil and Gas Industry and where do you think the technology is heading?

Plant operations and also the maintenance professionals today work in a challenging environment. Operators and engineers across multiple oil & gas industries are being strongly pushed to reduce maintenance costs, extend the asset lifecycle and increase asset reliability, as said by my general experience. In this case, As a real low hanging fruit, drones can offer a cost-effective platform primary for tank or pipeline inspection due to their availability, range, and ease of operation. Using drones provides a number of other advantages to the oil and gas industry user including ability to maintain and operate a large fleet of aerial platforms, reduce cost of operation, faster turnaround time, flexibility to perform a variety of roles, higher quality inspection due to its ability to fly closer to the source and safety of operation or maintenance.

Are they any common misconceptions surrounding Drone technology? How can we combat these?

As a start-up or pilot without any long-time experience, these concepts also infected many negative beliefs by the users or stakeholders or regulators around. We know, aerial inspections as the drone’s key value can be applied anywhere outdoor, indoor. Any limitations from national or local regulation must be taken into account. Furthermore, any safety procedures of the facility/site owner must be complied with. Without real added value collaboration this might be ‘War for nothing1.

The technology ‘ as is’ limitations of drone use are that it can only perform an external inspection, platforms are vulnerable to weather conditions & high winds and have a limited flight endurance with a typical flight time of a micro UAV ranging from some minutes to a couple of hours. In this case, the experimentation with the ‘scale fast’ message might be the key to improve!

What are your/Mol’s top 3 IoT and/or digital priorities for 2020?

Culture Change has been doing in the Digitalization considering the main 4 value of MOL: People, Ownership, Agility, Customer focus.

In the maintenance area, all of that points to a predictive maintenance model; using sensors and connectivity to provide the right data at the right time so decisions can be made to reduce bottlenecks in the name of asset or system failures. The Internet of Things is leading to increased use of condition-based and predictive maintenance strategies. So far, so good! I know If everything was so easy, then why are there still such a significant number of organizations that haven’t adopted IoT yet? Even though there are a couple of stereotypes lingering on the maintenance area, there are as well some real obstacles that need to be overcome.

As an attendee of The Oil and Gas IoT Summit, who are you looking forward to hearing from and what are you hoping to take away from the summit as a whole?

After Einstein ‘ I do not need to know everything, I just need to know where to find it, when I need it..’

That is why I am really looking for adaptable & tangible, agile but new school solutions, projects/case studies from the Oil & Gas competitors or service providers in focus with I4.0. on your inspirited event.


If you would like to join us at The Oil and Gas IoT Summit – 22-23rd January, Lisbon, Portugal please click here to book online (use code MAR for 20% discount!) or call +44 (0) 20 3004 9791 and a member of our team will be happy to help.

Want to join us as a Partner? 
We have limited partner opportunities available – please call the team on +44 (0) 20 3004 9791 or email us here – for current availabilities.

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