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Refiners today are inundated with data, but the key to operating efficiently is being able to quickly determine which plant data is reliable. The Invensys Yield Accounting solution streamlines data transfer between off-sites software and yield accounting software to ensure that the correct information is being used. It then converts that process data into reliable operating information by using built-in data reconciliation algorithms. Using the Invensys Yield Accounting solution increases accuracy and reliability for receipt, shipment and process data; identifies gross errors; corrects inaccuracies; and reduces or eliminates losses. Implementing the solution also results in more consistent, reliable data for cost accounting, equipment utilization and other plant-wide key performance indicators that could yield a typical 250,000 barrel-per-day refinery an excess of $8.5 million per year in savings.
Invensys also released an off-sites solution that integrates planning, scheduling and off-sites systems to its SimSci-Esscor ROMeo optimization software. This new solution allows refineries that already have blend operations and optimization practices in place to leverage these two sources of information, ultimately improving efficiency and profitability. As a result of this integration, Invensys can provide an easier way to update linear programming models when refinery feedstock profiles or physical configurations are significantly changed.
Additionally, the newly acquired Spiral knowledge-management software will provide accurate and timely crude oil information across an enterprise, from ranking crude oils in trading to optimizing refinery processes and maximizing reliability. Spiral Software's planning and scheduling solution provides a collaborative, multi-user environment for sharing common data and models across all supply chain work processes. Planning activities, such as crude purchasing and product sales, can now be flexed continuously with the production schedule, reacting to market and operating conditions. In parallel, scheduling decisions can be made with an understanding of their commercial impact while avoiding boxed-in scenarios. Its integrated risk-analysis feature enables users to look across many different planning and scheduling scenarios, helping refiners understand their exposure to changes in feedstock costs, product demand and refinery operations.
"Since Invensys already offers solutions for optimization and for off-sites blending operations, integration was a natural way to leverage our existing offerings to enhance refinery efficiency and profitability," Scheele said.
In addition, recent releases of the company's VISUAL FLOW software (version 5.5) and ROMeo modeling and optimization software (version 6.0.2) further illustrate the company's ongoing commitment to refining. The updated VISUAL FLOW software adopts several industry standards that aid in the design and evaluation of relief systems to ensure safety within and around the refinery. The recent release of ROMeo software includes improvements that respond to customer requests, including a new hydroprocessing reactor model and an updated feed synthesis for the fluid catalytic cracker model.
"These improvements will allow refineries to operate at peak efficiency because they monitor equipment performance, reduce operating costs, increase throughput and maximize profit," Scheele continued. "With clear, measurable and visible results that can amount to millions of dollars per year, refining companies that apply our solutions can make better decisions about how to deliver long-term, sustainable growth, as well as reap economic, environmental and safety benefits."
In the workforce mobility arena, Invensys is focused on expanding the capabilities of its Wonderware IntelaTrac solutions. Support for a range of new devices types, including smartphones and tablets, broader functional application and tighter integration with a range of complementary plant systems are among the company's ongoing development efforts.
Moving forward, Invensys will focus much of its software development effort on core platform applications that are applicable to all industries. This includes engineering, HMI, supervisory and historian product functionality, and will account for the bulk of the company's development investment, Gopinath said. The other half of the company's effort will be split essentially evenly between production and performance applications and design, simulation and optimization applications.
Gopinath sees Operations Management capabilities embedded deeper within smarter applications and assets, as well as cloud enablement of the company's already far-reaching applications. "We believe that the spectrum of users who touch our technologies will be far broader," Gopinath said. The cloud will also allow the company to develop and commercialize a broader array of remote system and support services. "How can we be more proactive in monitoring your application landscape?"
In the end, Invensys is investing is software and services capabilities that help its customers manage short and long term risks to their businesses. "We have to make sure our customers don't lose the ability to make the right investment choices," Gopinath said. "It's not a choice, it's an imperative."