Online consulting: Reliability and safety are the main challenges facing process industries today, and process control is one of the most effective solutions. Online consulting complements in-house resources, helps bridge a skill shortage at many sites, and makes process control a regular part of continuous operational improvement.
Inferential control (soft sensors): Inferential control is the most profitable part of multivariable control (MPC). Inferentials can also be implemented without MPC, capturing the benefits of inferentials without the cost and difficulties of MPC.
Distillation control: Distillation accounts for up to half of an oil refinery's total energy bill. Wherever reflux or reboiler control is not in cascade mode, which is surprisingly common, 5-10% of this energy can be saved, in addition to product quality improvement.
Hydrocracker control: Hydrocrackers are one of oil refining's most demanding process control challenges at all levels -- safety systems, regulatory control and advanced control. Economically, hydrocrackers are well situated in today's market, converting heavy oils and inexpensive natural gas into high-value fuels. Yet, most hydrocrackers in industry are under-controlled, lacking basic excursion control, depressure prevention, and effective advanced control features.
Crude unit control: Crude units have large economies of scale, many downstream refinery impacts, and interactive process designs, making them a textbook MPC application. But common crude unit control challenges often remain unsolved, such as reliable inferentials, pump-around optimization, pressure control, and stripper levels.
Fired heater control: Modern oil refineries have dozens of fired heaters, making good heater controls and safety systems fundamental to refinery reliability and energy efficiency. Yet many heaters lack effective air, draft and fuel gas controls and safeguards.
Performance audits: Industry has installed nearly a thousand MPC controllers, but many have fallen below performance and profit expectations. Industry has installed thousands of inferentials, but many perform only marginally better than traditional solutions. Most of this work has been carried out without due attention to base-layer health and the best place for each type of control. Performance audits provide sound approach to capture the benefits of high-performance base layer control, reliable inferentials, and profitable MPC. Contact APCperformance.com for a performance audit before "re-engineering" your MPCs again.
TSA Models: The process control field is long on new, often unproven, technology. And it is short on experienced manpower. To manage and optimize the situation, a company must evaluate the technologies that are most important to its success, how it will support those technologies, and how it will measure and assure success and progress. Contact APCperformance.com for a site or corporate-wide TSA study.