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Crude/Vacuum Units

Crude UnitThe Crude Unit is the gateway to all other downstream process units in a typical refinery, yielding intermediates and finished products that drive bottom line refinery business results. The keys to profitability in crude unit operations often depend on operational excellence in the areas of safety, energy efficiency, optimal process unit utilization, and consistent and reliable unit operations, day after day.One key challenge with operating the crude unit is switching crude feedstocks.  Some refiners manually adjust to the new setpoints and the transition period can take several hours to accomplish.  Meanwhile, downstream units are feeling the pain of the crude switch because their feedstocks are not consistent during the transition period.One solution to minimizing the disturbance of crude switching is the use of advanced process control.  Properly implemented automation solutions can manipulate several process variables at the same time to minimize the disturbance of a crude switch.  In addition, the transition time tends to be significantly shorter than manually changing operating conditions to accommodate the new crude stock.

Challenge:

One key challenge with operating the crude unit is switching crude feedstocks.  Some refiners manually adjust to the new setpoints and the transition period can take several hours to accomplish.  Meanwhile, downstream units are feeling the pain of the crude switch because their feedstocks are not consistent during the transition period.


Solution:

One solution to minimizing the disturbance of crude switching is the use of advanced process control.  Properly implemented automation solutions can manipulate several process variables at the same time to minimize the disturbance of a crude switch.  In addition, the transition time tends to be significantly shorter than manually changing operating conditions to accommodate the new crude stock.

Heater Optimization
Emerson’s SmartProcess® Heater Optimizer delivers energy savings and more stable operation of fired process heaters.  This fast implementation solution combines advanced regulatory and combustion control modules to optimize operation of multi-pass process heaters. Combustion controls maintain safe operation while continuously operating closer to maximum efficiency.

Fractionator Optimization
Emerson's SmartProcess® Fractionator Optimizer is a fast implementation APC solution that is easy to setup, use, and maintain.  This automation solution also minimizes disturbances from crude switching, thus minimizing impact to all downstream units.

Process Improvement & Optimization
With automation technology changing dramatically over the past decade, some refiners are not fully aware of what automation options are available.  In addition to helping select the right technology for the application, Emerson’s consultants provide sound advice on how to improve operation performance and reliability.

 

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