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Shell Organizes Operations by Deploying OMPro in 20 Plants

June 18, 2008
Shell Unifies and Shares Operations Management Metrics Across Its Refineries

Sometimes efficiency just means getting your ducks in a row and your operators, work practices and plants on the same page.

To achieve this simple, but often difficult goal, Shell’s downstream businesses spent the past year deploying Honeywell Process Solutions’ (HPS) Operations Management Pro (OMPro) software at 15 refineries to better manage alarms, communications and all of the data they generate. In fact, Shell is installing OMPro at five more plants right now and will implement it at 10 more facilities in the coming year.

“We make sure data are available at all levels, which aids cooperation and sharing.” Alex Mesman of Shell’s downstream business explained the company’s ambitious efforts to unify and share operations management metrics across its refineries.
Alex Mesman, global deployment manager for OMPro in Shell’s downstream business, reported on his firm’s recent efforts in his “Successful Deployment of OMPro R300” presentation to the Honeywell Users Group meeting this week in Phoenix.

OMPro’s major components include Advanced Alarm Management (AAM), Alarm Configuration Manager (ACM) and User Alert (UA). Its main communications capabilities include Operating Instructions (OI), Operations Monitoring (OM) and Operations Logbook (OL). To help users organize their data, for example, ACM includes a read-only web browser that lets them view multiple variables.

“We make sure these data are available at all levels, which aids cooperation and sharing,” said Mesman. “Because everyone has access to these tools, users can see how well their application is running, but they also can check other plants, learn from their practices and help each other.”

Meanwhile, alarm and event analysis (AEA) consists of a read-out of actual refinery events, and produces both dynamic, multi-dimensional reports and static reports. These then can be read in Microsoft Word, Excel, PDF and HTML formats. In addition, to simplify communications for the operator, UA takes DCS data that used to go only to the operator’s alarm display and now routes it through a plant historian as well.

Mesman added that Shell learned several major lessons during its OMPro deployment.

  • Even though Shell was familiar with OMPro, extensive additional testing was needed to make sure the software tools would be a good fit with the individual needs of each application and its unique environment.
  • Because of OMPro’s many capabilities, it helped Shell’s users to deploy the software tools in phases, especially the AAM modules. It also was useful to implement the ACM and AEA tools first.
  • Shell gathered a roaming core deployment team consisting of Shell employees and Honeywell technical staff to help install OMPro at each facility.
  • Some “super” users received added on-site help to fully deploy IT-related tools at their first console.
  • Organizers also made sure that business-level managers also participated in taking ownership of the OMPro tool suite, so the deployment effort wouldn’t be viewed as just an IT-based initiative.

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