Activity
  • Innovations in Personnel and Process Safety

    Safety—both personnel and process safety—are always top concerns for manufacturers and producers. At the Emerson Exchange Americas Virtual Series, Emerson’s Ed Schodowski , Meha Jha , Mike Hoyme and Marcelo Dultra shared a panel to discuss innovations in personnel and process safety for refiners and chemical producers. Here is their session’s abstract: Process Safety systems are complex combinations of measurement,…
  • Balancing the CAPEX and OPEX Sides of Corrosion Monitoring and Control

    In a Hydrocarbon Engineering article, Emerson’s Jake Davies looks at corrosion monitoring from a cost/benefit standpoint. Imagine this situation, which probably won’t require too much effort to visualize. You have an eight-year-old car, and looking at your personal budget, you ask, “Shall I keep this car and continue doing the increasing amount of service work, or buy a new one and spend less time at the garage?” The…
  • Improving Turnarounds and Flare Gas Recovery with Wireless Flare Monitoring

    At the Emerson Exchange Americas Virtual Series, a North American refiner’s Transformation Manager teamed up with Emerson’s Scott Baruch to present a case study on how wireless flare monitoring assisted their plant turnaround efforts and improved ongoing flare gas recovery unit (FGRU) operations. Here is the case study’s abstract: This case study focuses on the use of 60 Rosemount 708 Wireless Acoustic Transmitters…
  • Coriolis Mass Flow Measurement in Ethylene Pipelines

    A supercritical fluid (SCF) exists: …at a temperature and pressure above its critical point , where distinct liquid and gas phases do not exist, but below the pressure required to compress it into a solid . [2] It can effuse through porous solids like a gas, overcoming the mass transfer limitations that slow liquid transport through such materials. SCF are much superior to gases in their ability to dissolve materials…
  • Refining Industry Perspectives at Emerson Exchange

    The December editions of the Emerson Exchange Americas virtual series are taking place Tuesday and Thursday this week and next week. I joined the Refining Industry Forum to get an update on the technologies and solutions driving improved performance for refiners. Ed Schodowski led the session featuring leaders from BP, Chevron and Ergon Refining. The first question Ed teed up was to ask about each company’s digital…
  • Should 5G Be Your Protocol to Handle Backhaul for WirelessHART Networks?

    In a Control Engineering article, Emerson’s Andrew Cureton looks at several wireless protocols vying for greater adoption with industrial users. There is immense hype around 5G these days. It will change our lives, we hear – but will it be an improved solution for industrial applications? It’s just one of the various wireless protocols trying to gain a foothold with process manufacturers, so how do they all relate,…
  • Reducing Manual Valve Lineup Mistakes Podcast

    For safer and more reliable terminal operations, it is important to know location of all products and their needed movements. Without clear visibility into the real-time health and operational status of the assets required for movements through the facility, problems can occur. One operational risk is in the lineup of the manual and automatic valves. Improper positions can result in unsafe conditions, unintended movements…
  • Improving Tank Farm Flexible Operations

    Refineries typically either use third-party storage terminals or have their own tank farms as part of their operations. A Refiner’s Guide to Digital Transformation and Top Quartile Performance article, Better business results through flexible logistics operations , shares how these refineries can improve the flexibility as well as safety, efficiency, and reliability of their tank farm operations. For some of these refineries…
  • Successful Refinery Digital Transformation Journey

    A Hydrocarbon Processing article, Ergon Refining: A digital transformation story , provides a great illustration of a step-wise, scalable digital transformation journey that continues to drive business improvements. The authors, Ergon Refining’s Steve Elwart and Emerson’s Marcelo Carugo , share this journey and the results achieved. They open describing the importance of Ergon Refining’s culture in this initiative.…
  • Digital Transformation Planning and Execution

    What often holds manufacturers and producers back on their digital transformation journeys is where to begin and how best to proceed. For those in the chemical process industries, Emerson’s Tim Olsen has written a Chemical Engineering Progress (CEP) article, Understanding the Digital Transformation . Tim opens with a great definition of digital transformation: Digital transformation refers to the leveraging of industrial…
  • Digital Innovations in Refining

    The World Refining Association : …exists to facilitate knowledge sharing and nurturing of business partnerships within the downstream oil and gas sector. We help the industry share knowledge, with a focus on new technology and in particular technology that improves efficiency and increases plant productivity. This November 17-18, they’ll be conducting ERTC Virtual: Europe’s Virtual Meeting Place for Downstream Leaders…
  • Better Ways to Design and Organize Product Selection Efforts for Future Reference

    Emerson’s Seth Natala and Dan Cychosz show how to apply new engineering design tools when selecting a DP flow meter and other instrumentation. Anyone who has tried to troubleshoot an equipment problem might have wondered how a specific piece was selected in the first place. This happens because few companies have a useful mechanism for gathering and organizing such information. The selection process information might…
  • Continuous Condition Monitoring Cuts Costs

    In an article in the AFPM Summit Conference News, Emerson’s Jacob Swafford makes the case for continuous versus intermittent condition monitoring. I don’t think I have ever met a maintenance manager who said that condition monitoring is a waste of time. They agree it’s important but most shrug and say, “I wish we could do more, but we don’t have the resources.” Refineries and chemical plants that don’t monitor the…
  • Fuel Blending Unlocks Refinery Cash Register

    For refiners, effectively and efficiently blending the refined fuels enables margin improvements. Yet, many refineries fail to give their blending area the attention it deserves. It’s worth reconsidering since fuel blending is essentially the “cash register” of the business. Because this area is where profits can be made or lost, it should receive the investments necessary to be efficient and flexible, and able to quickly…
  • Driving Safety Improvements through Flow Measurement Advancements

    In the oil & gas upstream, midstream and downstream industries, flow measurement is critical for accurate fiscal and custody transfer accounting. But what about their use to make these processes safer? In a Hydrocarbon Processing article, Leveraging modern flow technologies to improve safety in refineries , Emerson’s Meha Jha and Julie Valentine describe how advancements in these flow measurements, “…enhance safety…
  • Extending Existing WirelessHART Networks to Improve Worker and Plant Safety

    In a Hydrocarbon Engineering article, Emerson’s Amanda Alexander describes two ways to extend existing wireless networks for worker location and toxic gas monitoring. Emerson colleagues who were around back at the dawn of Wireless HART tell me the earliest deployments were usually limited to monitoring applications. At that time there wasn’t a long enough track record of reliability for us to suggest this still-new…
  • Automating Procedures in Ethylene Furnaces can bring Huge Benefits

    There are many examples in plants where operators need to follow a particular procedure to safely transition the plant to a new condition. In an ethylene plant, furnace startup, decoke and shutdown operations are classic examples where following strict operating procedures is critical to prevent unsafe conditions as well as promote efficient operations. Since furnaces are decoked every 30-60 days depending on feedstock…
  • Improving Refinery Emissions Management

    Controlling emissions is one of the great challenges for the energy-intensive refining industry. However, it is imperative because meeting increasing environmental regulations globally is a key concern. In a Refiner’s Guide to Digital Transformation and Top Quartile Performance article, Control emissions to meet changing regulations , Emerson’s Ed Schodowski highlights ways technology can help minimize emissions while…
  • Multiple Systems Working Together Prevent Tank Overfill Disasters

    In Hydrocarbon Engineering’s Tanks & Terminals Supplement , Emerson’s Helena Hjortsberg looks at all the elements of a comprehensive overfill prevention system in her article, A Coordinated Strategy. Overfilling a tank storing hydrocarbons or other flammable chemicals can cause an environmental incident under the best circumstances, but also a high probability of an explosion and fire. Given the costs in lost product…
  • Building Digital Transformation, One Step at a Time

    In a Flow Control magazine article, Seven Digital Transformation Myths Exposed, Emerson’s Brian Joe offers advice on starting a digital transformation program. When we talk to companies about digital transformation, especially companies that have yet to launch a program, we frequently hear two kinds of responses representing two extremes. Either they don’t think the technologies work, or they have inflated expectations…
  • Building Lines of Defense Against Hydrocarbon Releases and Fires

    In a Chemical Engineering article, Emerson’s Nick Pinto offers strategies for improving tank farm safety with more effective gas release and flame detection In countless war movies, the heroes, whether in trenches or spaceships, have to stop the enemy advance at some particular point, providing the last line of defense to avoid disaster. This may be overly dramatic, but designing an overall safety strategy for large…
  • This Week at the 2020 AFPM Summit

    The 2020 American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) Summit starts today as a virtual conference. It is a learning event with in-depth sessions to share ways to improve plant performance. From the agenda , I wanted to highlight some of the Emerson experts presenting this week. Tomorrow, August 26 at 1:30pm EDT, Meha Jha will present, Strengthening Your Career by Building Webs and Developing Spidey Senses. Meha…
  • Choosing Temperature Instrumentation Should Begin with Understanding the Process

    In a Process Heating magazine article titled Questions to Ask About Temperature Measurement Applications , Emerson’s Sarah Kendrick helps engineers work through the critical temperature application design process. Imagine this: One of your process engineers comes to you, points to a P&ID and says, “We need a new process temperature measurement right here. Take care of it.” What is the first thing you need to know to ensure…
  • Refinery Optimization Strategies

    Ensuring that a refinery is flexible enough to accommodate a variety of discounted crudes and adjust production to meet critical customer commitments sometimes feels like walking a tightrope with just the right balance between the financial benefit these crudes offer and the increased fouling and corrosion they cause to a refinery’s assets. In my article, Production levels: Are they all they could be? , in the Refiner…
  • Holistic Approach to Top Quartile Reliability Performance

    Operating reliably is one of the critical success factors in driving business performance for manufacturers and producers in the process industries. In the Refiner’s Guide to Digital Transformation and Top Quartile Performance , the article, From cultural shifts to tactical strategies: Ensuring refinery reliability takes a holistic approach, highlights an effective path to success. The opportunity? By generating…