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Improving Refining Agility, Reliability and Collaboration

Petroleum Review: Future-proofing refiningProduction agility is an increasing objective among refiners and petrochemical producers. Changing characteristics of feedstocks and demand for produced products is forcing these companies to look for solutions to increase operational flexibility.

In a Petroleum Review article, Future-proofing refining (membership required for access), Emerson’s Marcelo Carugo shares his insights on how transformative digital technologies improve agility and overall business performance.

In the article’s opening, Marcelo is quoted:

The smart refinery offers better collaboration between different groups in the refinery [which previously operated in silos] and third parties, for optimisation of production planning, operations, maintenance and quality management…

He describes three operational and business goals commonly shared by refiners and petrochemical producers—agility, reliability, and shared intelligence and collaboration.

Agility is defined in terms of switching production mixes between produced fuels to respond to market demands and opportunities. Marcelo explains:

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Conductivity Measurement for Optimized Clean-in-Place Operations

Common in the Life Sciences and Food & Beverage industries are clean-in-place (CIP) operations to effectively clean the interior surfaces of production process piping, vessels and other inline assets before the next batch is run.

This short, 2:10 YouTube video, Effective Conductivity Measurement in Clean-in-Place Applications, highlights the importance of extremely tight measurement and control to avoid costly waste and contamination.

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Advancing RFID-Based Productivity in Process Manufacturing

New technologies usually become more broadly adopted as multiple suppliers adopt the technology and provide interoperability. Standards efforts help to define common requirements into a specification for suppliers to follow in their technology development programs.

Today, industries such as warehouses, airlines and others employ radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology for increased productivity. The use of RFID is not yet common in the process industries.

Valve magazine: The Case for RFID in Process PlantsIn a Valve magazine article, The Case for RFID in Process Plants, Emerson’s Shannon Jelken, highlights the need for a standardized approach among suppliers to improve their customers’ overall project and operational performance.

Today much of the management around valves and other plant assets is paper-based and in need of a digital transformation. Shannon opens noting that most plant maintenance staff:

…deal exclusively with paper records regarding valve maintenance, parts lists, service, repairs and other data on a valve’s history. Some of these papers reside at the project site in the maintenance shop while others are kept at a central office. Some operators rely on component vendors to keep records.

This paper-based approach requires effort:

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Cisco and Emerson Collaboration for Heavy Duty Networking Solution

Yesterday Cisco announced the Cisco Catalyst IW6300 Heavy Duty Series Access Points. The release highlighted the collaboration with Emerson to include connectivity with field device wireless networks.

Emerson’s Bob Karschnia is quoted:

“By integrating the new Cisco heavy duty access point with Emerson’s next-generation WirelessHART gateway, we are able to leverage sensor data from critical assets to eliminate blind spots, and improve productivity and safety of their operations…”

This short, 2:01 YouTube video, Cisco + Emerson Story describes this collaboration between Cisco and Emerson. It produced the Emerson Wireless 1410S Gateway designed for the Cisco Catalyst IW6300 Access Point built for industrial environments and hazardous locations up to Class 1, Division 2.

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Planning and Executing Digital Twin Technology

Institution of Civil Engineers--Defining the digital twin: 7 essential stepsYou may have heard the phrase “Digital Twin” bandied about in our world of automation. It may conjure up mental images of models, simulations, training systems, and more.

In an Institution of Civil Engineers article, Defining the digital twin: 7 essential steps, Emerson’s Mart Berutti defines digital twin with these characteristics:

  • Represents assets in the physical world with a digital model
  • Looks and feels like the real environment
  • Simulates models forward with varying degrees of fidelity
  • Is NOT just a data model. It must include relational interaction
  • Connects with the relevant time data to ensure the model mirrors reality

Here are the seven essential steps that Mart shares:

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