June 2017

Trends and Resources

Industry Perspectives: The digitalization of the downstream industry

The digitalization of the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) is in full swing. Numerous companies have created, and are optimizing, digital technologies to improve plant operations, increase energy efficiency and lower costs.

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The digitalization of the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) is in full swing. Numerous companies have created, and are optimizing, digital technologies to improve plant operations, increase energy efficiency and lower costs. The HPI is beginning to see the numerous benefits of this new world, and is adapting to the new digital landscape.

This change requires not only switching out sensors, components, or any of the pieces of hardware/software needed to optimize plant operations, but also changing the culture of the company. As many know, this task is not easily accomplished.

The industry is evolving to this new paradigm, and we must evolve with it. To do this, Hydrocarbon Processing begins a new column series this month. Titled Digital, the new column focuses on the digitalization of the refinery/plant, and how the HPI can benefit from increased digital operations.

Some of the topics in the Digital column will include, but are not limited to:

  • Digitalization
  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
  • Big data
  • Data and asset management
  • Predictive vs. preventive maintenance
  • Remote sensing
  • Cloud-based systems/operations
  • Cyber security
  • IT/OT relationships
  • Process control and instrumentation/automation
  • Virtual reality, drones, robots, etc.

The first installment of Digital can be found here. The column details how a cloud-driven asset performance management system provides a complete view of risk and prioritized maintenance needs to realize cost savings and maintain operational excellence. Technology advancements allow companies to capture large amounts of data from sensors, historians and enterprise asset management systems to better inform operations about asset health, performance, operational capacity and failures. With the massive amounts of data being generated, the Cloud serves as a scalable central repository for both the data itself, and the insights provided by that data.

Hydrocarbon Processing wants to hear your perspective on the digitalization of the refining and petrochemical industries. If you are interested in contributing to the Digital column, please contact us at HPEditorial@GulfPub.com. As the HPI transitions into the digital age, staying on top of the issues, challenges and techniques to fully develop and benefit from the digital platform is of the utmost importance.

As the industry changes, we must optimize our message and provide the most up-to-date topics to you, our readers. We hope you will join us in continuing to broadcast the latest technological advancements in the downstream processing industry. HP

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