Iowa Fertilizer Company (IFCo) is one of the largest nitrogen fertilizer plants built in the United States and utilizes KBR’s market leading, state-of-the-art ammonia production process technology. IFCo’s diversified product portfolio includes ammonia, granular urea, and UAN, in addition to diesel exhaust fluid, a fuel additive used to lower harmful NOx emissions and improve fuel economy.
Production of ammonia requires smooth and continuous operations of several large and complex equipment such as furnaces, catalytic reactors, compressors, turbines, pumps, distillation towers and a train of heat exchangers spread across the plant. Over the life cycle of the plant this equipment can fail either due to normal wear and tear or quite often due to sub-optimal operations or maintenance practices.
To avoid unplanned downtime of IFCo’s ammonia plant and to optimize steady-state operations, KBR is currently cloud-hosting the INSITE® remote monitoring and advisory service platform (KBR Remote monitoring at IFCo) to proactively collaborate with plant personnel and provide them with timely recommendations based on deep domain knowledge.
KBR INSITE® represents the underlying building-block on top of which several tools and solutions can be layered to facilitate a customer’s requirements during their digital journey. Many such solutions are provided through partnership with technology vendors or obtained through cloud-hosting service providers. KBR’s objective is to support a proper gap analysis of IFCo’s portfolio and then recommend the selection of digital technologies that would help IFCo achieve their targets for sustainability, energy efficiency and low carbon utilization. Travel restrictions caused by the ongoing global pandemic has made it difficult for KBR and IFCo to conduct face-to-face meetings to discuss the selection and adoption of digital solutions that would bring most value to IFCo.
To address this need, KBR leverages AWS Advanced Tier Partnership to access a suite of digital solutions applicable across the value chain, from remote operations and optimization, trip avoidance, collaboration and much more. Moreover, to effectively interact with IFCo during this period of restricted travel, KBR has developed a customer experience environment on AWS that provides a virtual reality setting to showcase digital offerings through 3D models, videos, live presentations, posters, and banners.
IFCo has been invited to enter a series of VR/AR settings; and interact with both information presented in these settings as well as with KBR experts, almost as if they were physically visiting the KBR premises. KBR schedules these collaboration sessions periodically so that the functionality and value proposition of various advanced applications can be reviewed in detail with customers. This allows KBR to take the role of a “Trusted Advisor” to continuously elevate the customer’s maturity level in their digital transformation journey and expand their use of KBR’s digital services to enhance the operations of their plant.