October 2007

Special Report: Process Control and Information Systems

Improving refinery reliability, performance and utilization

A new digital control system incorporating fieldbus provided substantial benefits

Funkhouser, J., Motiva Norco Refinery; Manley, F., Emerson Process Management

Notiva's Norco refinery produces about 7 million gallons of gasoline on a typical day for New Orleans and nearby states, ranking it among the largest refineries in the world. Blending dynamically requires the refinery to be on spec with all blending components 24?/?7. Several years ago, Norco management realized that the modernization of instrumentation and controls had not kept pace with other improvements to key units at the refinery. Management was determined to increase the refinery reliability by using predictive monitoring of the plant and its assets, avoiding upsets, improving instrument reliability, and improving maintenance and operations effectiveness. Norco selected an advanced

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