Rolling Out Emerson’s Management System for Bulk-Liquids Terminals

by | Aug 16, 2013 | Industry, Measurement Instrumentation, Oil & Gas, Tank Gauging

Emerson's Chris WomackHi. It’s Chris Womack again, with another tidbit about terminals.

If you haven’t seen it yet, an article in the July-August issue of Tank Storage magazine adds a little update about Emerson’s partnership with Vopak, the world’s largest bulk-liquids storage firm. (The article’s mostly about Emerson’s recent press event in Baar, Switzerland, which focused on the company’s ongoing big expansion in service provision. More about that further below.)


A graphical depiction of Emerson’s general Syncade solution for terminal logistics.

As Emerson and Vopak announced last May, the joint project produced a Syncade-based logistics system that helps manage terminals more efficiently. Vopak installed the new system at its Amsterdam Westpoort facilty—reporting efficiency improvement of as much as 30 percent—and plans to roll it out in all of its 84 facilities worldwide. Meanwhile, Emerson now offers the Syncade-based solution to the rest of that industry.

The new Tank Storage article, “A Mate for Life,” quotes Vopak Chief Information Officer Ton van Dijk reporting that the logistics solution is now in place at two of the company’s tank farms, and that the efficiency improvement might even be a little higher than first estimated.

“In general, on the site that we are operating right now, we are running at 20 percent efficiency [improvement],” said van Dijk, “but we think this can go up to 40 percent.”

This is a minor update, but that’s serious improvement.

As your bloghost Jim Cahill recounted back in JanuaryVopak‘s Louis Janssen and Emerson’s Cor Vermeijs

… described the process for improved terminal operations by looking at the workflow from order intake to service delivery—integrated vertically and horizontally. The current landscape of the architectural layers from the field instrumentation through the process control, operations management, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) levels was, at some levels, a mix of many systems.

Some of the requirements for improvement included taking a process focus for the operators, developing a best practices exchange platform, developing standardized specifications, identifying and segmenting company and supplier core competencies, selecting leading technologies, standardizing connectivity with ERP systems, and reducing overall time to market. Movement control was key to realizing the operations focus around customer priorities and overall efficiency.

There’s much more to the Syncade-based bulk liquids logistics system, of course. Be sure to see Jim’s post for more.

Concerning Emerson’s continuing expansion of services offerings, it’s opened six new service centers and three education centers in the past year—in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Hungary, and Kazakhstan—while expanding several more. Emerson is also adding engineering staff at “double-digit growth rates, and expects to do so for at least the next five years,” from more than 4,600 project staff in 2012, according to a recent statement.

Additionally, the company says that in two years, it’s tripled the number of its current projects worth $5 million or more—so-called “mega projects,” while expanding from only one multi-project program in 2001 to 13 now.

And there you have it—Vopak’s Syncade rollout proceeds apace, and so does Emerson’s plan to be a much bigger player in services.

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