Optimizing oil refining

03/23/2010


A press release crossed my desk yesterday, and it connected two things that have been recent discussion points. The main topic of the release is that ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (EMRE) has signed a licensing agreement with Invensys to use some of the refinery process models that EMRE has developed. The suite of models will be available to other refiners through Invensys Operations Management’s SimSci-Esscor optimization software, using its ROMeo solution to enable clients to model and optimize process units.

Sudipta Bhattacharya, president and chief executive of IOM makes an interesting observation about the current situation of the refining industry: “With depressed demand, decreased margins, and increased environmental mandates, refiners no longer have the option to simply operate at maximum throughput. Over the course of the coming decade, we will see a drastic shift in the oil industry as refiners constantly optimize their operations in the face of changing feedstock and energy costs, product specs, and margins. Refiners will increasingly rely on accurate modeling technologies to construct a refinery-wide picture and assess the financial impact of different operating scenarios. Our SimSci-Esscor optimization software and ROMeo solution, combined with EMRE process models, enables refiners to make improved economic decisions throughout the refinery, from crude feed to final product blending.”

The first area that this connects with is two recent postings on the changing nature of the oil industry now that consumption in the U.S. seems to have peaked and refiners are now finding themselves with excess capacity in North America and Europe. The notion that refiners have the opportunity to evaluate processes with something other than maximizing production in mind could be an interesting change.

The second point is the concept of processes and process models as intellectual property. There is a feature story on this very topic in our April issue which will be coming very soon. A sidebar in the article brings up the area of legal agreements between system providers and end users and how notions of who owns what need to be defined clearly. The situation between IOM and EMRE is something of an extreme case, but the same concepts apply if an end user is working with a control system supplier in a much more conventional application. Watch for it.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.