Management

Improve plant work processes with enhanced alarm response programs

Millinger, G., MAVERICK Technologies

One of the unfortunate realities of automation in process industries is the stubborn inability to improve on the weakest link of the chain: human beings.

Solve operator training in a challenging refining industry

Alamo, J., SNC-Lavalin Inc.; Ross, M., Honeywell Process Solutions

Workforce reduction, the expected retirement of baby boomers, personnel leaving the industry in search of better opportunities, and the lack of jobs for new graduates will create a skills deficit once the industry begins growing again.

People

Rhodes, Michael, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

ValvTechnologies Inc. has named Herman Benard Jr. as director of manufacturing. He will have senior management responsibility for the achievement of production, productivity, quality, safety and customer satisfaction goals, as well as spearheading manufacturing process continuous improvements.

Viewpoint: Reshaping the industry toward innovation, certainty and efficiency

Brittain, J., Fluor

It is no secret that capital costs of major projects have skyrocketed over the past decade. A July 2015 industry report noted that the average megaproject’s cost increase is 80% of its original value, with an average schedule slippage of 20 months.

Engineering Case Histories: Case 94: Why mentors are important for industry

Sofronas, T., Consulting Engineer

When I started working in industry 50 years ago, it was management’s job to have a senior engineer watch over my work. Much of the quality of my analytical work and technical discipline were formed early in my career with help from these engineers.

Reliability: Reliability and the EPC contractor

Bloch, H. P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In this column, I have often elaborated on critical information related to reliability thinking. However, reliability thinking is continually subverted by approaches that concentrate excessively on project cost and completion.

Viewpoint: A new value proposition for a licensor and EPC contractor

Folgiero, P., Maire Tecnimont

The drop in oil prices has changed the overall dynamics of the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI), as well as reduced prices for petrochemical products. Approximately $150 B of oil and gas projects have been canceled or put on hold.

Automation Strategies: Drive maximum asset capability with operational technologies

Hill, D., ARC Advisory Group

Owner-operators across the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) strive to gain maximum business value from their process plant assets. Here, automation assets and other operational technology (OT) typically play a major role.

Modularization: The key to success in today’s market

Rentschler, C., Engineering Consultant; Mulrooney, M., Shahani, G., ShureLine Construction

The world economic order is rapidly changing. A transition is underway, led by the sudden collapse of crude oil and natural gas prices. Here, the pros and cons of modularization vs. field construction are outlined.

Managing complex changeover processes for integrated cracking furnace safety

van Diessen, S., Sadowski, S., Netherlocks Safety Systems

Cracking furnace operations (e.g., for the steam cracking of naphtha feedstock into olefins) are an essential part of hydrocarbon (HC) refining; however, they are known to be potentially dangerous and complex to manage.