A Teesside-headquartered firm has sealed a distribution deal with a global tech firm that could help process industry firms save millions of pounds.

Under the terms of the deal, Stockton-on-Tees-based Encora Energy will roll out UptimeAI’s cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in the UK and Europe.

The technology uses AI to predict inefficiencies and mitigate impending failures in process industry systems. It can simultaneously predict how well each piece of equipment in the system is working and flag up reliability, efficiency, and product quality problems before they happen – potentially saving companies millions of pounds in lost revenue.

With bases in the US and India, UptimeAI is on a mission to reinvent plant monitoring. Its “AI Expert” software can help engineers de-risk projects and operate their assets with maximum profitability. By uniquely combining AI and 200+ years of domain knowledge, UptimeAI’s solution can continuously learn and diagnose problems with high levels of automation and scalability. The company has a rapidly growing presence in the US and Asia and has turned to Encora Energy to help it expand its footprint in the UK and Europe.

Encora Energy offers in-depth knowledge of the European process industries – particularly the energy, oil, gas, chemicals and power generation sectors – as well as the regulatory environment in the UK and Europe. The company provides key technical and operational insights into the workings of process equipment and systems.

This expertise will be useful as Encora Energy rolls out UptimeAI’s pioneering technology in the UK and Europe. The technology simulates a virtual software expert that can learn and explain problems due to interrelations across upstream/downstream process systems, in the same way that a human expert can. Its uniqueness lies in its ability to monitor entire process systems as a whole – even in systems that contain hundreds of pieces of kit – and use built-in knowledge to diagnose and recommend improvements.

Used on small-scale systems as well as large, complex plant networks, the technology can offer up to ten times reduction in false alarms, manual effort and lost time compared to existing solutions on the market.

Andrew Normand, new business manager and UptimeAI partnership lead at Encora Energy, said: “We are thrilled to secure this distribution deal with one of the leading developers of AI solutions across the world. UptimeAI’s unique technology, allied to our consultancy expertise and knowledge of European industry requirements, will enable process industry professionals to improve the reliability of their equipment and the efficiency of their operations, resulting in reduced downtime and unnecessary costs.

“It will assist a range of professionals, from plant operators to engineers and manufacturers, and help them to get the most out of their assets.”

Jagadish Gattu, CEO and co-founder at UptimeAI said: “UptimeAI is bringing human-like intelligence at scale into plant monitoring software in a practical way. With Encora Energy’s expertise on board, we will be able to reduce the likelihood of nasty surprises that can result in plants going offline, decreased efficiency and, ultimately, lost revenue in the process industry supply chain. Essentially, our technology allows engineers to have their own virtual trusted advisor to identify and mitigate potential problems before they happen, reducing the likelihood of equipment failures and inefficient processes.

“Encora Energy has in-depth knowledge of European industry and regulations, which will put us in a great position to capitalise on this potentially lucrative market for us.”

UptimeAI’s star-studded team consists of some of the world’s top academics, data scientists, software engineers and industry professionals from Google, Kellogg, MIT, Samsung, Stanford, Shell and Exxon. Its mission is to build the most trusted expert system for manufacturing that can help plant engineers of all types to de-risk projects and operate plants with maximum profitability.