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.

Read "Update hydrocracker controls for reliability" in Hydrocarbon Processing Journal, Oct. 2012 issue.

The message that often fails to accompany auto-depressure projects is the need for much better excursion control to avoid reaching auto-depressure conditions in the first place.  Auto-quench is a DCS control, but it can be one of the most important functions in a refinery, since it is the final layer of hydrocracking reactor depressure prevention.

As one hydrocracking console operator said of APC Performance hydrocracker control solution:
These are controllers that work for us, not the other way around.” -- Console

Operating a highly exothermic reaction vessel, without reliable bed outlet temperature controls, no longer makes common sense, and should no longer pass a modern process hazard analysis (PHA) review.

Contact APC Performance regarding a 10-point review of hydrocracking unit safety systems, DCS controls, advanced controls and field instruments - and never experience an unwanted depressurization event again. 

Hydrocracker Control Consulting: