Automatic Assay Management Data Transfer for Design and Optimization

Bridging the technological synergies created by the acquisition of UK-based Spiral Software (a provider of software for the refining industries), Invensys has released an integrated software product comprised of the Spiral CrudeSuite crude oil knowledge-management software and ’Invensys' SimSci PRO/II design and ROMeo optimization software.

Spiral CrudeSuite helps refiners understand their exposure to changes in feedstock costs, product demand and refinery operations, and it greatly increases the accuracy of their refinery models.
Spiral CrudeSuite helps refiners understand their exposure to changes in feedstock costs, product demand and refinery operations, and it greatly increases the accuracy of their refinery models.

The combined software package enables seamless access of the latest crude assay information throughout plant lifecycle modeling, from design through operations and performance optimization.

Invensys has spent the past year growing Spiral—the workforce has increased by about 20 percent—and looking at the best ways to bring together the capabilities of the two companies. “We knew there were a lot of synergies with existing Invensys products,” says Harpreet Gulati, vice president of design software for Invensys.

From a process design standpoint, SimSci is already the de facto standard in the refining industry, Gulati says, with PRO/II used by all the oil majors. But information from PRO/II has to be brought in manually, or through spreadsheets to perform assay management and design. As a result, assay management was done as one separate activity and design done as another activity, making it difficult for refinery operations to get hold of the assay information needed.

The new integrated product brings with it a high level of collaboration. “When the lab works up a new assay, then publishes it, it goes into a centralized database, and everyone gets the latest copy,” Gulati says.

This is significant from a time standpoint. Instead of it taking, on average, a few months to get the latest crude assay information, refinery operations are now able to have up-to-date information whenever they need it.  It’s also more accurate because the information is no longer input manually.

“If someone has to type a hundred numbers,” Gulati points out, “mistakes will probably be made somewhere.”

Perhaps even more significant is the completeness of the information for operations management. Typically included in a crude analysis is the distillation curve—showing when different components like gasoline or diesel are extracted as the temperature of the crude is increased. An assay will also include all the components of the crude—levels of sulfur, metals, tans, etc. “But it’s so tedious to put in all that information, people will often do just the minimum,” Gulati explains. “Now that it’s automatic and integrated, they can take the entire property curve and use it in the analysis.”

Having the complete and accurate crude information available as needed will help improve design and optimization, Gulati says, and in turn help drive cost savings and margin improvements for refineries.

Looking forward, Gulati says that Invensys has even more plans to integrate Spiral Software technologies with Invensys products. “The next step will be more integration of Spiral’s supply chain tools, such as planning and scheduling, with Invensys software,” he says.

Invensys will be demonstrating its integrated CrudeSuite offering in Booth D14 in the Expo Hall. Read more about it at: iom.invensys.com/EN/Pages/SimSci_ProcessEngSuite_PROII.aspx.

 

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