Global energy company: Implementing an industrial wireless network

For optimized maintenance activities


Accenture's Industry X.O solution provides a framework that allows organizations to embrace technological change and profit from it, helping them to intelligently combine digital technologies and lead in the new. With Accenture’s help, this global energy company implemented an industrial pervasive wireless network to monitor and analyze work patterns. The effort led to increased productivity and enhanced safety, data-driven insights that can be used for planning work and negotiating vendor contracts, and a platform that supports ongoing improvements in operations.

Accenture's Industry X.O solution


To improve its ability to negotiate fixed-price contracts, a global energy company needed to develop a more precise understanding of the amount of work various disciplines were contributing to maintenance activities. To do so, the client looked to use mobile solutions that could track workers at one of its production facilities. However, the company lacked the wireless infrastructure in the field required to support this initiative.

The client engaged Accenture to build a wireless network infrastructure at the facility, as well as distribute RFID tags to workers, manage associated business readiness activities, and manually analyze data for daily reporting—a choice based on Accenture’s track record of implementing technology in hazardous operational environments, and its experience in using analytics to drive operational improvements.

Wireless Network Infrastracture


Drawing on its patented approach to designing industrial wireless networks, Accenture created an outdoor pervasive wireless network at the client’s facility, installing 50 rugged, intrinsically safe access points designed to operate in hazardous areas. Accenture also equipped some 1,100 workers with wearable RFID tags, and implemented desktop-based MobileView software to gather data coming from the field and monitor workers’ locations as they moved through the facility.

50 Intrinsically safe access point

intrinsically safe access point

1,100 workers with wearable RFID Tags

workers with wearable RFID Tags

Accenture drew on its relationships with Cisco and AT&T to deliver on the accelerated timelines. The entire project was completed in less than 90 days. With the network in place, Accenture worked with the client to monitor worker activity and apply analytics to identify movement trends and operational bottlenecks, and better understand demobilization processes. As an example, monitoring revealed that the tendency of workers to follow similar work patterns was resulting in the mobilization times of different contracting companies converging, even if they contractually had different start, end, and break times. In another instance, activity monitoring demonstrated that—for contracting companies providing dinner to employees at the end of a shift—early demobilization rates were far lower, with most employees working up until the last minute.


With the new solution, the client was able to develop insights that boosted productivity, increasing the amount of time workers spend in productive zones by one half hour per-person per-day. At the same time, the system has given the client a solid, data-driven foundation for planning and estimating maintenance work, and for negotiating vendor contracts for such work.


The wireless network—which the client also recently used to test an advanced manufacturing initiative pilot that required cloud connectivity—gives the company a foundation for future advanced manufacturing initiatives. Furthermore, it supports the company’s overall plans to extend its enterprise network into the field and enable the increased use of digital technology in its operations.