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Refinery Digital Transformation Case Study

Ergon's Steve Elwart & Emerson's Marcelo Carugo

Ergon’s Steve Elwart (l) and Emerson’s Marcelo Carugo (r) discussing Ergon’s digital transformation journey

Advancing technology has enabled productivity gains in both capital projects and ongoing operations for manufacturers and producers. Ergon Refining‘s Steve Elwart and Emerson’s Marcelo Carugo collaborated on a case study presentation on digital transformation at the Ergon Vicksburg, Mississippi refinery for the ERTC conference in Warsaw, Poland.

For a 500-metric-ton refinery, projects required between 5,000 and 10,000 man-hours in 1990. Today, this same design can be completed in 1,500-to-2,000 man-hours by taking advantage of available digital technologies. This productivity increase is due to increasing the number of tasks that can be performed in parallel and the broader collaboration enabled by communications and storage technologies. Continue Reading

Optimizing Well Performance in Unconventional Shale Using Cloud-Enabled Multiphase Flow Meters

Upstream oil & gas producers face unique challenges in measuring their production compared with other industries. What comes from a well is a changing mix of oil, gas, produced water, and sediment. Traditionally, test separators have been used to periodically check an individual well’s performance. These well tests are performed on a periodic basis.

I caught up with Sturle Haaland, Emerson’s Roxar Flow Metering Director, who shared with me that for unconventional, shale oil & gas production well pads, multiphase flow meters, such as the Roxar 2600 MFPM, are being used on each well to provide accurate, continuous measurement of water, gas and oil rates coming from the wellhead.

Roxar 2600 Multiphase Flow Meter Performance Monitoring serviceOne concern oil & gas producers have about multiphase flow meters is verification of performance, as they replace conventional test separators. To build confidence in the performance and reap the full benefits of the vast amount of real-time well data provided by these meters, their output should be monitored, analyzed and reported on. This provides valuable insights for reservoir and production optimization, as well as performance of the meter sensors. In case process conditions require any setting adjustments, an auditable track record is logged.

Sturle explained that operators often use manual processes for collecting data from the field. What’s more, their available resources for analyzing the data are also limited, and they may not always be trained on new multiphase flow metering technologies. This can make the detection of changes in production difficult, and ultimately lead to costly wrong decisions. Continue Reading

Agile Project Methodology for the Right Types of Projects

The concept of Agile for managing software projects began in the 1990 in software development under early forerunners such as “…Scrum, DSDM, Application Development and Extreme Programming“. The waterfall project management method was causing growing lead times and lack of flexibility to make changes later in the project as more was learned along the way. Based on this early work:

…seventeen developers met once again in February 2001, and from this, the Agile Manifesto was born.

Here’s where you can read about the four core values in the Agile Manifesto.

I share this as background for a ProjectManagement.com article, Agile is Fragile—Handle it With Care (registration required for full article), by Emerson’s Sal Zafar.

Sal opens highlighting the importance of a core framework:

It is critical to properly frame agile before utilizing it as a building block for project executions. Companies that have never utilized an agile approach will have to put forth significant effort to prepare for establishing a framework.

He shares 12 considerations in establishing this framework: Continue Reading

5 Questions for Operational Certainty Consultant Kendall Beushausen

Emerson’s Kendall Beushausen joins our continuing podcast series, 5 Questions for an Emerson Expert. As an Operational Certainty consultant, Kendall works with clients to help improve reliability through the application of the latest technologies and improved work processes in process management, maintenance and reliability through the application of artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics.

In the coming weeks, look for a more in-depth podcast with Kendall on the ways to think about the Industrial Internet of Things and its application in the process industries.

We hope you’ll enjoy this episode and will consider subscribing to the whole FIRSTHAND: Operational Certainty in Pod series on your iOS or Android mobile device.

Continue Reading

Tank Gauging System Components

Tank gauging systems perform bulk liquid measurements on storage tanks on tank terminals, a.k.a. tank farms. These systems provide inventory management and overfill prevention safety functions. The systems include level measurement devices such as safety certified Rosemount 5900S radar level gauges, Rosemount 2240S multi-input temperature transmitters, a Rosemount 2410 tank hub which handles communication between the field devices and the control room for single or multiple tanks, a Rosemount 2460 System Hub that transfers real time tank gauging data from field devices to the TankMaster inventory management software and/or control system.

I wanted to share that background for another “how to” video about one of these elements in the tank gauging system. This 5:45 YouTube video, Rosemount 2460 How to Change Motherboard describes the process of changing a Rosemount 2460 System Hub motherboard. It shows mechanical installation, wiring, and how to restore the configuration database. Continue Reading