October 2004


Special Report: Improving Process Control

Improve APC project success
Grosdidier, P., Grodidier Consulting Services

Understand these pitfalls to avoid problems

Model-free adaptive technology improves distillation column chain control
Cheng, G. S., CyboSoft; Zhang, W. D., PetroChina

It enabled PetroChina to increase production safety and efficiency

How to lose money with inferential properties
King, M. J., Whitehouse Consulting

Fourteen more rules that, if followed, will ensure that advanced control will drive the unit further away from optimum operation

Embedded APC tools reduce costs of the technology
Sharpe, P., Emerson Process Management; Rezabek, J., BP Amoco BDO Manufacturing

Control projects can be more easily justified for smaller plants

New level control techniques
Mandal, K. K., Indian Oil Corp. Ltd.

Target flow nonlinear control and target opening nonlinear control offer advantages in some applications

Model predictive control for nonlinear processes with varying dynamics
Axelrud, C., Liano, K., Sayyar-Rodsari, B., Pavillion Technologies, Inc.

A parametric approach produces accurate models

Understand control benefits estimates
Martin, G., Emerson Process Management

Here's how the five popular methods work

Gas Processing-LNG

Optimize LNG vaporizers
Dharmadhikari, S., Paragon Litwin

Consider these guidelines to predict the performance of open rack vaporizers during normal and abnormal conditions

Information Technology

Use an enterprise portal to link plant data with refinery planning tools
Agrawal, A., Balasubrmanian, K., Infosys Technologies

Here's how to better automate and integrate the process

Laboratory/Online Analyzers

Shift your cylinder gas procurement and usage paradigms
Scheuring, S., Airgas, Inc.

Rethinking current systems can eliminate many analytical problems while improving costs


NPSHA —how much is enough?
Henshaw, T., Consulting Engineer

Follow these guidelines to avoid pump damage

Process Technology/Distillation

Reduce energy costs for distillation column
Meili, A., Consultant

Steam ejectors as part of the auxiliary water circuit can optimize energy and improve reliability

Safety/Process Operations

Systematic depressurization design is more than just a safety necessity
Datta, K. A., WorleyParsons

Implementing this approach can save money while meeting required regulations


Cure liquid carryover from compressor suction drums
Kalis, B., Amistco Separation Products, Inc.

Here's how to apply mist eliminators for higher throughput and efficiency


HP Reliability: Substantive change needed
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

"When reform becomes the status quo," says Frederick M. Hess, executive editor of Education Next and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, "then you'll encounter symbolic activity rat..

HP Automation Safety: CFSE update
Goble, W., exida LLC

In IEC61508, the international standard for functional safety, there are requirements for "Competence of Persons." The general statement from IEC61508 Part 1, Appendix B, reads, "All persons involved ..

HP Integration Strategies: Alarm management: more important than ever
Hill, D., ARC Advisory Group

Almost since the beginning of the concept of automatic control, there have been process alarms. For most process plants, automatic control has progressed far beyond early control devices that operated..

HPIn Europe: Keeping the barricades away from your refinery gate
Wright, Tim L., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

What I like about reading Isaac Asimov (I'm on the last book of his classic sci-fi series) is the way it gets me to see the history in current events. This month, I've had a think about how history mi..

HP Construction: HPIn Construction: North America
Jackson, Kim M., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Shell Martinez Refinery has a $5.3 million contract with Honeywell to modernize its Flexicoker unit. Under agreement terms, Honeywell will install a process control system and provide engineering and ..

HP Construction: HPIn Construction: South America
Jackson, Kim M., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

GE Energy has a $50 million contract to supplying two compression modules to Petrobras Netherlands BV. The agreement is for a new floating production unit (FPU) to be located in the Campos Basin, off ..

HP Construction: HPIn Construction: Europe
Jackson, Kim M., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

BASF Aktiengesellschaft (BASF) and Dow Chemical Co. have finalized plans to build a propylene oxide (PO) plant in Antwerp, Belgium. The new plant will implement the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to PO (HPP..

HP Construction: HPIn Construction: Middle East
Jackson, Kim M., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (HPCL) is licensing UOP's CCR Platforming technology for its Mumbai and Vishakapatnam (Vizag) refineries to produce high-octane reformate, an ultra-clean gasoline blendi..

HP Construction: HPIn Construction: Asia-Pacific
Jackson, Kim M., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Aker Kvaerner has a letter of intent (LOI) with Agip Kazakhstan North Caspian Operating Company N.V. to perform fabrication, outfitting and testing of seven barges for oil production in the Kashagan o..

HP In Brief: HPIn Brief
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

  LPG outlook for Latin America The world LPG industry is..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Faulty data exchange costs industry billions
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Inadequate software interoperability in the capital facilities industry cost $15.8 billion in 2002 due to lost efficiency. A new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) p..

HP Impact: HPImpact: FTC: energy mergers not impacting prices at pump
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a report that presents a detailed overview of structural changes in the petroleum industry and describes commission law enforcement activities related to p..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Retrofits for coal power plants drive NO
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In spite of declining grassroots power plant construction in the US, recent upswing in coal-fired power plant retrofit and upgrade projects, as well as environmental compliance in the heavy manufactur..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Framework examines sustainability for global road transport
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

For the past four years, 12 leading international automotive and energy companies have worked together to consider how global mobility patterns might evolve in the period to 2030 and beyond, what stra..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Rising coal prices not to affect natural gas markets, says study
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Breaking with conventional thinking on the effects of coal price on gas price, new research by consultancy Wood Mackenzie finds that rising spot Central Appalachian coal (CAPP) prices will not lead to..

HP Impact: HPImpact: New plant projects in Asia stimulate DCS demand
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The distributed control systems (DCS) market in Asia is expected to grow 6.3%/yr through 2008. The market was $2.6 billion in 2003; it will exceed $3.5 billion in 2008, according to a new outlook by A..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Asia equipment sales soar; repair costs grow in US and Europe
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The world has emerged from recession and this has unleashed expenditures to expand and maintain production. However, there is a marked difference in the activity depending on the region, according to ..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Miscellany of note from the HPI
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Chrysler Group is using B5 – a 5% blend of biodiesel – for the first tank of fuel in its new Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicle. Biodiesel is an alternative fuel that can be made from f..


Case 23: Analyzing a crack-like defect in a vessel wall
Sofronas, A., Consulting Engineer

You should know what needs to be done but not necessarily how to do it

Improve FCC yields to meet changing environment—Part 2

Controlling emissions is another vital component for revamp projects