Incorporated in 1962 and based in the Houston, TX area, Heat Transfer Research, Inc. (HTRI) is a world leader in heat exchange systems research, design, training, and testing software. HTRI collects and interprets data, develops thermal process design and simulation software, delivers customized services and testing software, and trains its customers in the software’s use.
HTRI’s Director of IT and Business Applications, Chris Walker, ensures the company always has the right technology to compete with the market in five to ten years. After evaluating HTRI’s processes and challenges, Chris and his team implemented SAP HANA, the in-memory computing platform for SAP Business One that allows businesses to analyze massive amounts of data in real-time.
HTRI needs to quickly analyze the data from its continuous research to help customers predict certain situations. The company’s legacy software consisted of disconnected data repository systems with vital information scattered among multiple silos. Trying to reconcile that data to a central location was daunting, and analyzing it to create reports took hours, sometimes days.
This challenge was especially problematic for HTRI’s fouling division. Fouling occurs when a liquid that runs inside a heat exchanger hardens. Limited flow through a heat exchanger means more energy is required to push the fluid through, and more energy means more expense. Fouling has become a billion-dollar problem for the oil and gas industry, but HTRI helps customers predict when they should tear down, clean, and maintain rigs. HTRI’s original SQL server required running tests, collecting data, and manually converting the data into a format it could analyze. This was tedious and time-consuming and prevented HTRI from comparing current runs to previous runs.
The SQL server wasn’t an in-memory version, but an in-memory database was the only way HTRI could process its data effectively. After much research, HTRI chose SAP HANA as its new software.
Implementing SAP HANA immediately benefited the fouling division. The company can now pull data in real-time off the rigs and run it through the same models from the past, no matter how old. Live tests offer faster turnarounds, reporting, and answers for customers.
Looking to the Future
HTRI simplified its IT infrastructure with SAP HANA, revamped its business intelligence to take advantage of the software’s power, and continues to incorporate new applications that shape the company’s future.
One such endeavor is indexing the company’s case files. That involves billions – yes, you read that correctly – of rows of data. This project takes big data to a whole new level for HTRI and will ultimately provide more value for the company.
To learn more about HTRI and SAP HANA, check out Vision33’s podcast featuring Chris Walker.