Because the refining industry is constantly changing, with new regulations and opportunities with discounted crude oils, changing distribution patterns, and new competitors on the scene—refiners are challenged to adapt to a complex and dynamic environment.
Not only must they optimize process operations, train and upskill staff, and be flexible enough to capture favorable market conditions, they need to maintain compliance and meet safety standards, while improving efficiency. Digital transformation provides a path to Top Quartile performance in safety, efficiency, and reliability.
In an article from the Refiner’s Guide to Digital Transformation and Top Quartile Performance, Emerson’s Marcelo Carugo shares avenues for starting the digital transformation process. Three essential conditions for refiners include:
- Operational agility—which involves being able to efficiently process different feedstocks while avoiding asset degradation, becoming more flexible to accommodate changing demands for different products, and producing more products for markets not traditionally served.
- Achieving Top Quartile performance-level availability—which is related to operational and mechanical availability, asset reliability at the site, and best-in-class strategies and technologies.
- Implementing shared intelligence—where sophisticated new technologies deliver the right information to the right person who can take the right action when needed. It’s about bringing the data to the expert, instead of the expert to the data.
In Marcelo’s article, Creating a clear and actionable roadmap for digital transformation, he describes critical elements for successful digital transformation initiatives. These include:
- Developing a clear and focused business case for investment.
- Creating a scalable methodology that lets refiners transform operations at their pace, based on the value you achieve.
- Incorporating a flexible technology platform that allows refiners to effectively start anywhere.
- Choosing a strategy that includes people and work practice.
Read the article as well as other on ways to drive Top Quartile performance in the Refiner’s Guide to Digital Transformation and Top Quartile Performance. Also, visit the Refining section on Emerson.com for more on the technologies and solutions to help you drive business performance improvements during these challenging times.