Technology Modernization for Refinery Digital Transformation

by , | Jun 25, 2020 | Digital Transformation, Downstream Hydrocarbons

Jim Cahill

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Social Marketing Leader

Control systems’ lives are measured in decades instead of the short life spans we experience with our consumer electronics and other consumer technologies. Yet even with this long lifespan, control systems need to be modernized to take full advantage of advancing technologies that help to improve safety, efficiency and reliability.

Refiners Guide: Technology Modernization StrategiesIn a Refiner’s Guide to Digital Transformation and Top Quartile Performance article, Emerson’s Duncan Schleiss highlights the importance of technology modernization in driving top performance.

Duncan opens noting the technology enablers all around us in our daily lives.

The connected smart home now offers completely different ways of home management—all enabled by a digitally secure, connected, and often wireless communication infrastructure.

These technology enablers which have transformed our lives have not come as fast for manufacturers and producers. For refiners, adopting some of these enablers opens the ability to:

  • More easily comply with new safety standards.
  • Manage asset obsolescence more effectively.
  • Leverage machine analytics to improve availability.
  • Increase profitability with embedded advanced control.
  • Access remote experts who help fill the skills gap in real time.

Successfully modernizing technologies as part a digital transformation initiative requires:

…engaging early with an automation partner that can help you minimize modernization project costs and mitigate risks.

This automation partner should have:

  • Proven track record as a main automation contractor (MAC) for modernization projects.
  • Proven experience with hot-cutover migrations to modern secure digital architectures.
  • The conversion tools needed to ensure seamless integration of existing configurations into the new DCS.
  • A wide variety of built-for-refining solutions including digital twin technology, plant optimization, dynamic alarm management, and layered, advanced machine learning.
  • Remote availability to experts who can collaborate and problem solve with plant personnel in real time.
  • The flexibility to adapt solutions to your specific priorities to maximize your ROI.

Read the article and others in the Refiner’s Guide to Digital Transformation and Top Quartile Performance which provide ways for refiners to drive top quartile performance in safety, reliability, energy efficiency and production.

Visit the Distributed Control System Modernization section on for more on the migration and modernization services and technologies to drive your digital transformation initiatives.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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