HYDROCARBON PUBLISHING COMPANY
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REFINERY DIGITALIZATION & IOT
Publication date:1Q 2020
Refinery Digitalization & IoT
Refiners have the difficult task of maintaining profitability in the face of challenges such as the growth in the petrochemicals sector, evolving plant emissions requirements and fuel regulations, the increased use of alternative transportation fuels, the new wave of refining capacity expected to come onstream in the near future, and the projected drop in growth in global oil demand. As a result, refiners are increasingly seeking to improve plant productivity and efficiency in addition to operating safety and reliability.
The quest to increase refinery margins and achieve improvements in plant reliability, run-time, and safety has led to a growing interest as well as increasing investment in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The 'things' in the IIoT are relatively inexpensive wireless sensors and other devices that are deployed in a widespread manner throughout the refinery to collect operating data such as temperature, pressure and flowrate. This information is processed and relevant data is identified and made available to other machines as well as engineers, operators and other refinery personnel. The core part of the IIoT is analytics, which are used to monitor the data so that plant personnel can be notified of important information that requires immediate action. This type of predictive analysis can help to improve process performance through the monitoring of the condition of equipment such as pumps, motors, drive systems, heat exchangers, valves and pipes. It can minimize degradation and detect operation at a suboptimal level as well as impending failure so that downtime is reduced and safety improved. And it can allow for a throughput increase that boosts profitability.
Increasing the collection of valuable data in the refinery continues to be a priority. Also, analytics remains a major area of focus as new software has been introduced that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide actionable insights from generated data. Some software developers are now also offering self-service analytics, which enable companies to fully capitalize on collected data without having to employ a data scientist. New products are also available that allow refiners to create a digital twin of plants, processes and assets that can be used for monitoring, operator training, and process control. And, as cybersecurity remains a challenge that needs to be addressed, companies continue to form partnerships for the development of various solutions that can enable the oil and gas sector to safely reap the full benefits of the IIoT. Finally, companies are utilizing IIoT solutions as part of asset performance management strategies. The refinery IIoT section also features the latest trends and technology offerings, including:
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Keywords: Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT, digitalization, connectivity, sensor, transmitter, drone, data collection, data storage, cloud, data quality, data platform, analytics, machine learning, platform-as-a-service, IIoT platform, digital ecosystem, cyber-attacks, cybersecurity, SIEM, malware, artificial intelligence, AI, asset performance optimization