October 2011

Special Report: Process Control and Information Systems

Fine-tune diesel hydrotreating operations

This refinery used a simulator to train operators effectively

Harismiadis, V. I., Chaitanya, K., Deshpande, A., Hyperion Systems Engineering, Modeling and Simulation; Al-Daiel, A. T., Al-Mulla, M. M., Al-Najrani, M. A., Saudi Aramco

Modern plants are heat integrated and are increasingly more automated. Smooth processing conditions dull the operators’ skills in handling abnormal events. Likewise, fewer young people are entering refinery operations as senior personnel retire. To remedy the experience gap, a Middle East refinery opted to use an operator training simulator for a new diesel hydrotreater. This program focused on training and fine-tuning the needed skill set for the hydrotreater operations’ employees. Background Long production runs and few major upsets within the process diminish the operators’ skills in handling infrequent or unforeseen situations. In practice, this is seen with operating

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