April 1998



Emerging technologies and six sigma
Deshpande, P. B., Six Sigma and Advanced Controls, Inc.

Achieving this performance level can result in substantial gains in product quality and productivity


HP Control: Progress in fieldbus
Kane, L., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Several encouraging announcements were made at the Fieldbus Foundation's (Austin, Texas) '98 General Assembly, March 5, in Houston. These included acceptance of the Foundation Fieldbus interoperabilit..

HP Reliability: Improve selecting valve unloaders for reciprocating compressors
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In a recent investigation of serious compressor distress, it was alleged that finger-type unloaders had undergone 600 actuations per day. Since the service was corrosive and less-than-clean, the unloa..

HPInternet: Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS)
Crowley, B., Competitive Analysis Technologies

If you have a pipeline, run a pipeline or worry about a pipeline, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has information for you. Their new Web site is http://ops.dot.gov. From it, DOT's Research..

HP Insight: Are we ready for optimization?
Stephens, F. P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Hydrocarbon Processing sponsored its second annual Process Optimization Conference, March 25?27, 1998, in Houston. As with the first technical meeting, HP created this technical forum to investigate i..

HPIn Processing: U.S. refiners' low-sulfur proposal
Nakamura, D. N., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The U.S. oil industry last month proposed a regulatory plan for lowering sulfur levels in gasoline. This proposal, released on March 20, is to accompany EPA's Tier II emission standards for vehicles, ..

HPIn SHE: Gilding the lily
Whetton, Chris, ility Engineering

In my last column, I mentioned attending a conference where some of my expectations had not been met. As conferences go, it was a good one. It provided some good ideas, not all of them directly connec..

HPIn Competitiveness: 2-D approaches to a 3-D problem
Lamb, R. G., Cost Control Systems, LLC

Your firm has a choice in its approach to reliability and maintenance. It can continue to improve equipment reliability and strive for world-class maintenance in hope of increased business performance..

HPInformer: HPInformer, North America edition
Stephens, F. P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

AspenTech, Houston, Texas, has acquired IISYS, Inc., including its ADVISOR product line that is a leader in yield accounting technology for the process industries. Yield accounting is the process o..

HPInformer: HPInformer, International edition
Stephens, F. P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

ABB, Oslo, Norway, has acquired August Systems, Crawley, England, from American Manufacturing Corp. August Systems is a leading provider of triple modular redundancy (TMR) industrial safety systems fo..

HP Construction: HPIn Construction
Roberson, M., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Raytheon wins contract worth $138 million Raytheon Engineers & Constructors has been awarded a contract worth $138 million from the Norwegian state-owned oil company (Statoil) to upgrade and expand..

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

The industry needs to refine its image, says Brent Bahler of Citizens for a Sound Economy, speaking at the NPRA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, March 15 – 17, 1998. According to his in..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Western Europe's product capacities, global competitiveness under review
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In the latest "Activity Review 1996 – 1997," the Association of Petrochemicals Producers in Europe (APPE) stresses the need to continuously raise the competitiveness of the Western European petro..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Oil and gas production operations boost 1996 net income of majors
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Net income of two dozen major U.S. energy companies* was a record $32.0 billion in 1996, with overall profitability reaching the highest level since the oil price escalations of 1979-1981, according t..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Poland, Baltic states lead fuel market ‘boom' in Eastern Europe
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

At least fifteen major international oil companies are vying for supremacy in a region that is "just beginning to come to grips with the difficulties inherent in a market economy," reports market rese..

HP Impact: HPImpact: How to tap a plant's hidden capacities
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

While sometimes spending major capital is the only way to achieve a business goal, "many times the existing plant has hidden capacity that can be tapped more quickly and less costly than large expansi..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Strong long-term oil fundamentals forecast; prices to rebound
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Analysts with market research firm Raymond James & Assoc. predict "extremely strong" intermediate and longer-term fundamentals of oil. According to its recent industry report, the firm expects a rebou..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Project to develop standard for flanges
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

A new joint industry project at British Hydromechanics Research (BHR) Group, Bedfordshire, England, promises significant cost savings for oil, process and marine construction. The aim is to develop a ..

HP Impact: HPImpact: What helps make an alliance successful?
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Researchers have found no discernible correlation between capital project success or failure relative to whether the project is executed in an alliance environment or not. A study by Pathfinder, Inc.,..