For refiners, effectively and efficiently blending the refined fuels enables margin improvements. Yet, many refineries fail to give their blending area the attention it deserves. It’s worth reconsidering since fuel blending is essentially the “cash register” of the business.
Because this area is where profits can be made or lost, it should receive the investments necessary to be efficient and flexible, and able to quickly accommodate changes in product blend and shipping schedules. Also, the continuing evolution toward more stringent product specifications places increasing pressure on the blending area to get it right the first time.
In an article from the Refiner’s Guide to Digital Transformation and Top Quartile Performance, Fuel blending: The key to unlocking your refinery’s cash register, Emerson’s Patrick Truesdale shares why changing the traditional way of holding inventory by adopting inline blending can eliminate expenses associated with building and maintaining tanks and save millions in working capital by no longer holding excessive inventory.
Patrick shares how a current industry leader saved millions by reducing tankage inventory and significantly reduced product giveaway costs. Using the right inline blending analyzer can also improve quality testing processes, saving time and cost.
Plus, enhanced automation, monitoring technology, and more precise control is the most economical way to respond to current blending complexity trends requiring blenders to process additional components to meet more stringent product specifications and handle increased throughput. By improving fuel blending operations, refineries also enhance reliability and efficiency—driving down unplanned process upsets and downtime.
Patrick notes that in the U.S. market alone, refiners lose about $3 billion each year due to quality giveaway. By upgrading the blender with advanced automation technologies, refineries can improve margins by minimizing product giveaway and excess touch-ups, as well as more easily maintain regulatory compliance.
Download the Refiner’s Guide to Digital Transformation and Top Quartile Performance for this article and more on ways to drive safer operations and improved business performance. And, visit the Improving Blending Flexibility and Profitability section on Emerson.com for more on the technologies, solutions and practices to make it happen.