Petroleum Refineries – Making the move to more efficient Energy Suppliers
Meeting the Challenge of Managing the Refining of Sour Crude Oil
A growing challenge for all Oil Refineries is the shift in the quality of crude oil that refiners have to process. On average, crude oil production is becoming heavier and more sour (containing more sulfur). Heavy, sour crude’s are more difficult to process and yield more heavy products, which need additional processing. Tighter product specifications require refiners to either use better quality crude oil or invest in new units to upgrade product streams. All of these requirements lead to the need for better production control visibility and manageability. Some refineries are beginning to expand and invest in their physical infrastructures and replace the method of manual inspection or valve control to more automated refining plant controls enabled by the use of Enable-IT Ethernet Extension equipment. Smart LAN driven monitors, IP cameras and valve control mechanisms leverage shielded Category rated cabling over extreme and harsh environmental conditions all thanks to Enable-IT Ethernet Extenders.
Energy companies such as Chevron and Shell Oil Company have both leveraged the technology of Enable-IT Ethernet Extenders to supplement the shortage in labor to provide new visibility and control over refinery production operations. Extender kits were ruggedized and encased in NEMA/IP rated enclosures in the key production control areas and category rated cabling was able reach the necessary LAN based monitoring and control interfaces. Prior to using the Enable-IT Ethernet Extension equipment, this was not possible and required individuals to regularly venture out to each location to manually operate controls and valves. Now it is enabled and automated to keep workers safe, better monitor the live production line and grow the operations to meet business demand without a major increase in labor costs.
Just in Time Inventory Management to Meet Market Demands
With all the latest demands on the oil market regarding supply and demand, the old method of manual inventory has become to slow to keep up with the daily swings in production and supply. With the use of LAN based digital control equipment, more precise handling of live production operations can be monitored, controlled and augmented more quickly to meet this just in time market swings and the delivery of correct product to markets. Previously this level of production control was not available without manual operators at each of the controls requiring longer time to make adjustments not to mention the hazards of a petroleum refinery environment. The Enable-IT Ethernet Extension equipment has allowed this to be automated in such a fashion so that workers safety is not compromised and the LAN equipment making the adjustments never grows tired of the repetition or makes mistakes. Overall production has been able to triple and plant growth is able to more easily flex to meet output demands.
Increasing Production Profit Margins
Equipment maintenance on a foundry production floor is critical to overall uptime of production operations. Foundry production has thousands of moving parts, cranes and other heavy-duty mechanical equipment that requires constant monitoring and maintenance. The monitoring chores were performed by visual inspection and manual re-tooling adjustments. Downtime for unforeseen repairs costs the business dearly, so the implementation of new LAN based smart monitoring sensors and re-tooling adjustments is able to more rapidly alert control staff as to potential issues, fix minor problems before they grow into larger more costly breakdowns.
Creating New Value with a High-Performance Extended LAN Solution
The Ethernet Extension equipment has provided the company with a new prospective on how to leverage digital technology to control, manage and profit from this petroleum refinery business.