June 2002


Special Report: Process/Plant Optimization

New approach to real-time optimization using neural networks and fuzzy logic
Bonfim, C. H. M., Caminhas, W. M., Regap-Petrobras

The main advantages are simpler models and reduced computation time

Business Strategies

Jump to the next level of IT productivity
Holland, W., Skarke, G., Holland & Davis LLC

Applying the same ROI requirement for every dollar spent on IT that is used on non-IT spending, management can dramatically turn potentially huge capital drains into great gains

Engineering Case Histories

Case 9: The machine remembered
Sofronas, A., Consulting Engineer

Machines have a memory of overstressed conditions

Environment/Loss Prevention

Minimize flaring with flare gas recovery
Brendel, R., Jacobs Consultancy; Fisher, K., Trimeric Corp.; Brennan, D., John Zink Co. LLC; Fisher, P. W., Lion Oil Co.

To reduce facility-wide air emission, a refinery retrofitted the flare system and reuses waste gas as fuel gas

Performance Monitoring

Increase plant productivity through online performance monitoring
White, D. C., Emerson Process Management

The technology can increase production by 1 - 3% and reduce unplanned maintenance costs by 10 - 30%

Process Technology

Consider comprehensive CPD efforts to cut costs
Barletta, T., Martin, G. R., Process Consulting Services, Inc.; Visser, A., National Petroleum Refiners of South Africa Ltd.

With performance real-time field data, designers can devise process retrofits at the conceptual stage that control project scope and minimize engineering revisions during FEED and detailed engineering

Safety/Loss Prevention

Is regulatory compliance a burden or an opportunity?

Using a proactive approach can reap significant benefits


Refine your approach to process troubleshooting and optimization
Smith, K., KBC Advanced Technologies, Inc.

Follow this methodology to improve problem diagnosis and communication


HP Control: Moving beyond steady-state optimization
Fiske, T., ARC Advisory Group

Process optimization is one of the fastest growing technologies in the automation industry because of its ability to tightly link a company's business and economic objectives to its ope..

HP Reliability: Delegating responsibility brings benefits
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

You're probably familiar with texts such as Machinery Failure Analysis and Troubleshooting (ISBN 0-88415-662-1) that explore competing approaches to machinery troubleshooting. One of these is the "Mr...

HPInternet: So many answers . . .
Crowley, B., Competitive Analysis Technologies

This month's column is different. We had so many responses to our March Downstream Challenge that I feel we need to review them all. As I have said before, the Internet is the world's l..

HP Water Management: Analyze the economics of a capital improvement
Huchler, L. A., MarTech Systems, Inc.

Manufacturing cost-reduction efforts increase during weak markets. Utility systems are typical candidates for cost savings. In general, these projects involve some amount of capital inv..

HP Automation Safety: Periodic inspection and test – requirements and benefits
Goble, W., exida LLC

As companies gain experience implementing the ISA 84.01 and IEC 61511 standards, several have gotten toward the end of the safety life cycle with real projects. The final phase of the s..

HP Innovations: HPInnovations

New propylene source developed Lurgi and Süd-Chemie have introduced a new propylene technology - Propylur. This process can use various feedstocks such as light naphtha or gasoline from..

New Developments

Plant design software has added features Version 16 of AutoPLANT Process and Instrumentation Workgroup (P&IW) software features a totally new instrumentation and wiring module, support ..

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

CB&I building GOSP plant in Qatif Chicago Bridge&Iron Co. (CB&I) has a lump sum turnkey contract with Saudi Aramco for the Qatif 2 GOSP facility. Project scope includes turnkey engineer..

Free Literature

Scalable open-automation platform Free brochure from The Foxboro Co. describes its I/A series system as a complete, scalable automation platform that is easily and continuously updated. It..

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

HPI executives again testify that gasoline prices reflect market conditions. In a recent hearing before a U.S. Senate committee, representatives from ExxonMobil, Marathon Ashland, BP, ..

HP Impact: DeWitt petrochemical conference outlook
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The state of the industry and near-term strategic issues were the focus of DeWitt & Company Inc.'s annual petrochemical conference. Principal economic drivers for an anticipated industr..

HP Impact: Six strategic business technologies to watch
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

During 2002, technology leaders should focus on six emerging developments that improve competitiveness and business results. So says a recent forecast from technology industry consulta..

HP Impact: Australia making crucial GTL decisions
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Australia has declining crude production and rising demand. By 2005/6 the country will no longer be self-sufficient in transporting fuels, according to a recent analysis from Industrial..

HP Impact: IEA assesses energy policies of U.S.
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The International Energy Agency has released an in-depth review of U.S. energy policies. In the assessment, the Paris-based organization stresses the importance of a coherent policy em..

HP Impact: Creating more value in capital projects
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Most HPI plants are built to the best standards available to the respective project managers and design engineers. Most are highly varied in design, equipment fabrication, construction..

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor

Correction In the article, "Improve benzene production from refinery sources," (April 2002) Fig. 1 had errors in the process lines going from the reformate splitter and depentanizer. The correct figur..


Jackson, Kim M., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Marathon Oil Co. signed an agreement with XTO Energy Inc. to exchange certain oil and gas properties in east Texas and north Louisiana for XTO coalbed methane assets in the Powder River..

Options to consider when optimizing existing units
Romanow, Stephany, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

This month's issue is totally devoted to the multifaceted issues surrounding process and plant optimization. Without exception, all operating facilities are very conscious about their p..