Complex process plant operations often make it difficult to make timely and informed decisions about plant management and maintenance strategies. Emerson services are designed to ensure maximum potential benefit is achieved from automation and monitoring solutions. This workshop shows where Emerson has implemented solutions to overcome key challenges in reliability, process, energy and Health, Safety, Security, and Environment (HSSE). Examples include heat exchanger, cooling tower, steam trap, relief valve and pump monitoring. Annual savings range from $450,000 up to $3.6 million.
He opened noting the challenges of unique operating environments in downstream processing plant. Refining is challenged with the differences in composition of crude oil from shale oil. Refineries are running with higher utilization rates which makes unplanned downtime even more costly. Energy efficiency is a top concern both in costs and emissions. Safety and regulatory compliance remain top concerns as well.
Danny described Pervasive Sensing as not a thing, but a strategy around sensing devices combined with strategic interpretation to develop actionable information. This actionable information may be developed by remote experts given access to the data and analytics platforms to generate actions to improve safety, reliability or efficiency in some way.
For example, additional wireless sensing devices can provide full visibility to fouling, heat balances and high crude API gravity variability to address and solve much sooner than was possible without the measurements. These opportunities translate into return on investment opportunities—many that pay back with a year.
The other big element of these additional measurements is that they don’t necessarily need to come back through the distributed control system (DCS) within the plant. They can go straight to the analytical software platform and remote experts across cellular networks, for example, that they never touch the plant control or business network. This data may be located in the cloud or locally on an application server.
For process manufacturers and producers, the process begins with a site assessment working with the Emerson team. The output is to define the scope of the solution. A design is developed that is implemented as a project. Performance is verified as a final step.
He shared many monitoring applications where these pervasive sensing solutions can be applied including cooling towers, steam traps, pressure relief valves, pumps and air-cooled heat exchangers. Also, mobile worker technology can improve communications between operators and maintenance staff with smart devices as collaboration tools. The collaboration is much richer than the traditional approach of using voice-only phones and walkie-talkies.
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