Answering the Challenges Refiners and Petrochemical Producers Face

The autumn season is officially here in the Northern hemisphere and this season is filled with events and conferences. I’m always amazed when I hear about some of my friends in the industry and automation trade press and their daunting travel schedules through the rest of the year.

Emerson's Tim Olsen


One conference that Emerson’s Tim Olsen shared with me is the September 26-28 American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers’ (AFPM’s) Q&A and Technology Forum in Baltimore. The conference explores many of the issues these industries face.

Achieving top quartile performance in today’s volatile energy market challenges refiners and petrochemical producers. These challenges include changing regulations, unpredictable equipment health, feedstock variability, and talent shortages. Also, the industry’s move toward opportunity crudes has also led to unique processing and downtime issues that erode margins and make production goals tougher to achieve.

Tim and several of his Emerson colleagues will be presenting at this event. Tim will preside over a plant automation: software applications session. This session features Pete Sharpe teaming with an expert from Praxair on a presentation, The Cloud is Here for Smart Manufacturing. Their abstract [hyperlinks added]:

Emerson's Pete Sharpe


The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) has been funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to build an open, cloud-based manufacturing platform that provides a marketplace and infrastructure for software vendors to develop and offer software solutions to manufacturing companies. The initial phase of the project’s two test beds is nearing completion and a second round of funding to launch a Clean Energy Institute has been awarded to SMLC to further the program.

Pete will also participate on a Crude / Vacuum Distillation & Coking Q&A panel with experts from HolleyFrontier, Essar Oil, Fluor, Merrick and Baker Hughes. You can find some of the challenging questions they’ll tackle on page 20 of the conference program guide.

Emerson's Doug White


Doug White will also be participating as panelist along with experts from Solomon Associates and Fluor for the Principles & Practices: Hydroprocessing Q&A town hall. Their topic is Fostering Profitability – How Can I Make an Impact?

Tim will also present with an expert from Hunt Refining on Opportunity Crudes—Processing Heavy Crude Oils. Their abstract:

Processing new opportunity crude oils and crude blends means additional scrutiny to ensure the refinery is best utilized for its design of processing bottom of the barrel crudes. This presentation will discuss challenges with processing heavy opportunity crudes and how automation is providing additional insight into mitigating risks.

If you’ll be attending the event, make sure to connect with Tim, Pete and Doug. If not, you’ll also find them at the October 24-28 Emerson Exchange conference and in the Refining group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

Posted Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 under Event, Refining.

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