The energy industry is constantly evolving, driven by the need to face increasingly complex and sustainable challenges. In this context, Snam, the first European operator in the transport of natural gas with a network, in Italy and abroad, of approximately 38,000 km, is shaping the future of energy through its innovation program SnamTec, acronym for ” Tomorrow’s Energy Company”.
SnamTec is an impressive initiative which, between 2018 and 2026, involves the investment of approximately 1.1 billion euros in over fifty innovative projects. These projects focus on four key pillars. At the forefront is the safety of people, both employees and the communities in which Snam operates, through the adoption of advanced technologies and monitoring systems.
Secondly, to ensure reliable energy supply, SnamTec focuses on infrastructure resilience and management strategies during emergency situations.
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The adoption of innovative technologies then passes from safeguarding the environment to monitoring and reducing the environmental impact of operations. Finally, SnamTec seeks to optimize processes through technological innovation.
The Asset control room is the central nucleus of the SnamTec program. This advanced management platform, powered by artificial intelligence and sophisticated algorithms, allows you to monitor, analyze and manage the entire energy system in an integrated way. Traders can make decisions based on risk predictions and customize the interface to fit their needs.
“Through the progressive digitalisation of assets and processes, in particular, SnamTec allows the energy system to be monitored and governed in an integrated, predictive, timely and efficient manner – comments Massimo Derchi, Snam’s Chief Operations Officer -. Drones, satellites, artificial intelligence, IoT and remote diagnostic tools are some of the means that, to a large extent already now, ensure continuous control, on site and remotely, of the state of health of the gas transport network, plants and of the territories affected by the presence of these assets”.
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There are many operations to be carried out on systems and networks and, in critical situations, you need to know how to do them well, safely and quickly. SnamTec uses virtual reality, and the related viewers, to allow technicians to train without risk, practicing the typical activities of the various plants, including the selection and use of the protective devices required for each task. Furthermore, VR has been integrated into staff training plans. Furthermore, approximately 50% of operational technicians are under 25, a sign of a generational transition to which Snam responds, as in this case, with new learning methods.
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Satellite technology is used to analyze slow ground movements in areas crossed by pipelines, improving network security. Furthermore, drones and augmented reality allow precise inspection of gas transportation infrastructures, increasing the precision of monitoring.
Finally, using augmented reality through special mobile devices, Snam staff can verify exactly where an underground pipe passes, without excavation, while at the same time accessing the information of each individual infrastructural component to be checked in the field.
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