Improving Opportunity Crude Blending Operations

Opportunity crudes provide refiners with lower feedstock costs, but they must be carefully characterized and blended with other crudes to avoid problems during the refining process. These opportunity crudes are typically discounted from typical crudes because of the refining challenges they introduce.

In the 4-minute YouTube video, How to Maximize Profit by Characterizing and Blending Opportunity Crudes, Emerson’s Julie Valentine describes ways technologies can help.

Julie describes how proper feedback control using an analyzer to get all the opportunity crude properties helps to optimize the recipe and accurately determine the blend ratio with the other crudes. Continue Reading

Podcast: How to Approach Energy Management Projects

Emerson's Sam Thiara

Emerson’s Sam Thiara joined me virtually from the UK for our continuing FIRSTHAND: Operational Certainty Consulting in a Pod podcast series. Sam, whom you may recall from earlier energy management-related posts, is a member of the Operational Certainty Consulting Group speaking with manufacturers about their energy management challenges.

In this 10-minute podcast, we discuss the process of planning and executing an energy management project and the importance of getting the benchmarks and baseline performance established early in the planning.

These benchmarks and baselines are helpful not only in project justification and return on investment post project, but also help to justify the ongoing support required to maintain the savings over time.


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Driving More Sustainable Manufacturing

Emerson's Ana Gonzalez Hernandez

The 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) was held in Katowice, Poland, December 2-14. For many years, manufacturers have been on a path to drive more sustainable operations in reducing emissions and energy usage. As automation technology advances, it plays an increasing role as a strategic lever in these sustainability and performance improvement initiatives.

Emerson’s Ana Gonzalez Hernandez, whom you may recall from earlier resource efficiency-related posts, attended the conference. Ana shared her thoughts in a video interview with ENERGETYKA24 TV. Continue Reading

Food and Beverage Manufacturing Production Optimization

Emerson's Marcus Parsons

Unlike many other industries in process manufacturing, the food & beverage industry must react much more quickly to changing consumer demands. These rapid changes challenge these manufacturers in their production practices, reliability requirements, product quality needs and sustainability goals.

I caught up with Emerson’s Marcus Parsons to discuss the challenges around changing production requirements and how food & beverage manufacturers are addressing them.

Marcus explained that maximizing production is a key objective in most cases. It’s important to shorten changeover times and improve the production line efficiencies. Technology has a large role to play in increasing flexibility and providing insights back to operations personnel to increase throughput to meet their market demands.

Maximizing production in the food & beverage industryFour areas of focus are better measurements & interpretations of production real-time data, package line efficiency, cleaning cycle times between production runs, and predictive analytics to inform better decision making.

Historically, production lines have installed the minimum number of sensors to control the line. Additional non-control related measurements can help to improve flexibility and insights needed to maximize production. Continue Reading

3 Steps to Better Steam Temperature Control

Emerson's Doug Morris

Optimizing steam temperature reduces energy costs and increases operational reliability. In an 18-minute webcast, 3 Steps to Better Steam Temperature Control, Emerson’s Douglas Morris shares how advanced steam control for boilers and heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) improves performance. Doug shares how to effectively validate critical steam measurements, ensure optimal steam attemperation, and improve control methodologies for these assets.

Combined-cycle plant startup & shutdown profileAfter introductory remarks describing the webinar environment, he opens showing a typical operating profile for a combined-cycle plant. A key challenge for electrical power producers is to maintain consistent superheat and reheat temperature under widely varying energy supply and load conditions. A typical plant has about 250 starts per year—2 cold starts, 48 warm starts and 200 hot starts. Continue Reading